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The Updated COVID-19 Booster Has Been Available For A Month… And Ignored By The Vast Majority

a clear vial with a red lid and a medical needle sit against a blue backgroudn
Vaccine mandates have caused pushback.
(Markus Spiske/Unsplash)
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Just 5% of eligible Angelenos have received the new bivalent COVID-19 booster, one month into the rollout. That’s about 355,000 people.

Why This Matters: For the first time the shots match the circulating virus. The tweaked shots target both the original coronavirus strain and the currently circulating omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. Public health officials expect to see another COVID-19 wave around Thanksgiving, and warn it could be worse if more people don’t get boosted now.

Who Can Get Boosted: The CDC recommends that everyone 12 and older get an updated booster as long as it’s been two months since their last shot.

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What About Little Kids? Authorization of the bivalent boosters for younger children ages 5 to 11 may be just a few weeks away. If federal health officials give the green light, the boosters could be available for younger children before the end of October.

What questions do you have about the pandemic and health care?
Jackie Fortiér helps Southern Californians understand the pandemic by identifying what's working and what's not in our health response.