The U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended authorization of COVID-19 booster doses to both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Wednesday, while also opening the option to mix and match vaccine brands.
Boosters are still limited to people 65 and older or those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 at least six months after receiving their first two doses, though officials have said those guidelines may change — including a lowering of the age range — as more safety data is released.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now set to consider the FDA’s authorization, which if approved, could mean people could start getting boosters within days.
Following limited data from the National Institutes of Health that found that mixing vaccine brands is safe, anyone eligible for an extra dose can now get a brand different from the one they received initially, the FDA said.
The White House also unveiled plans to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 Wednesday, pending FDA authorization.
The plan comes ahead of a vaccine advisor meeting next week set to consider whether to authorize Pfizer’s request for children in this age range after trial results showed it was safe and generated a “robust” antibody response.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for people age 16 and older and an emergency use authorization for children ages 12 to 15.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials have yet to respond to the news or say when residents will be eligible to begin getting their shots.
County Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Wednesday:
Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 1,267
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,480,656
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 31
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 26,473
Hospitalizations countywide: 635, 28% of which are in the ICU.
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Oct. 19: 17, with 1,572 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 59, 43 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 36,743
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 346
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Oct. 14: 79.2%
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Oct. 14: 75.3%