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Morning Brief: FDA Authorizes Boosters, Mark Ridley-Thomas Suspended, And Brazilian Coffee

A man is shown in dark blue medical scrubs receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The man is seated and receives the shot from another man, who is standing and wearing a white lab coat, latex gloves and a protective face shield and mask.
A healthcare worker gets vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Oct. 21.

We’ve been standing by with information on how to get a coronavirus vaccine booster shot, and now, it appears as though the time is just about nigh for folks who aren’t already eligible; yesterday, the FDA authorized booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Relatedly, the administration also authorized mixing and matching vaccines, meaning that a person who got the Moderna shot, for example, could receive a Pfizer or J&J booster.

The administration had already authorized booster shots made by Pfizer, so these new rulings will make it much easier for people to get a third shot, regardless of which one they received initially.

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Experts are largely on board and excited about the decisions.

"I'm sold already," Dr. Mark Sawyer, a committee member from Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, "and that's because I agree completely ... that we need flexibility and improved access for everybody, which the flexibility of being able to mix and match will allow."

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The rulings are especially beneficial for disseminating booster shots in nursing homes, where many residents are high-risk but may not have all received the same immunizations originally.

A committee of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet today to discuss booster shots and develop recommendations for their use. From there, the CDC director must sign off on them, and then the rollout can begin. 

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... Artisanal Brazilian Coffee In LA

The exterior of Aquarela, a cafe in Chinatown.
(Courtesy of Aquarela)

Aquarela is a small café located between Chinatown and downtown. The owners, Eliscu Kipling and Otávio Shih, are passionate about Brazilian coffee — and about changing its reputation in the U.S.. To do so, they import beans from independent, artisanal farmers, and hope to spread the word among aficionados in L.A. and beyond.

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