SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego County residents with moderately to severely compromised immune systems can get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to fight waning immunity, it was announced Wednesday, as federal health officials recommended all vaccinated Americans get the booster shots.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the recommendation late last week because immunocompromised people are more susceptible to severe disease from the virus. When making the recommendation, the CDC provided a very specific list of conditions for people who should receive the additional dose.
"San Diegans who are immunocompromised should speak with their doctor to determine the best course of action," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "The best protection against COVID-19 is the vaccine and a third dose will help most people with compromised immune systems from developing severe illness from the virus."
The county Health and Human Services Agency estimates the immunocompromised population in the county is around 26,000.
The county is working on vaccine plans to meet the guidance being drafted by the CDC for an expansion of additional doses in late September. No details are available currently.
In the meantime, Wooten continued to urge unvaccinated San Diegans to get their first dose and for those due a second dose to not delay. The Delta variant, which is much more contagious, continues to drive up the number of cases being reported in the region and nationwide.
"The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to get us out of this pandemic," Wooten said. "Get vaccinated now to avoid getting sick and passing the virus to others, especially people who are more vulnerable to the disease."
The HHSA on Wednesday reported 1,117 new infections and logged 16 coronavirus-related deaths, increasing the cumulative totals to 318,152 cases and 3,834 fatalities.
Officials expect the number of reported cases to increase as more schools and businesses are requiring COVID testing.
A total of 43 new community outbreaks have been confirmed in the past seven days: 12 in business settings, eight in grade school settings, six in restaurant/bar settings, four in health care settings, three in daycare/preschool/childcare settings, three in retail settings, two in hotel/resort/spa settings, and one each in faith-based, government, restaurant, fitness/gym and community-based settings.
Federal health officials Wednesday recommended all vaccinated Americans get booster shots eight months after they become fully vaccinated. That amounts to a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine -- and "likely" an additional dose for people who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.
Those shots could begin the week of Sept. 20, according to a joint statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services.