(CALMATTERS) – Hurry up, and wait. State health officials on Thursday released a COVID-19 Vaccine Action Plan outlining how California will reactivate its large-scale vaccination campaign to offer booster shots to vulnerable residents and inoculations to children under the age of 12 — once both are formally approved by the federal government and other state agencies. As it stands, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagree on who should get a booster shot. While the FDA on Wednesday approved a third Pfizer shot for those 65 and older, people 18-64 with underlying medical conditions, and those with high-risk jobs, a CDC panel on Thursday approved it only for those 65 and older and people 50-64 with underlying medical conditions, recommending younger people with comorbidities consult with their doctor.
While Americans wait for the feds to iron out the details — such as whether health care workers and teachers should be cleared for boosters — many other questions remain, CalMatters health reporter Kristen Hwang pointed out to me: How soon can eligible Pfizer recipients expect their third dose? What exactly qualifies as someone “at high risk”? Will booster shots be authorized for Californians who received the Moderna or J&J vaccines, and if so, when?
Another topic up in the air: Will California require kids 12 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to attend school? California’s top public health official said Thursday that it’s “part of what we’re considering as a state,” a step beyond Newsom’s assertion last week that “nothing (is) on the table” in regard to vaccine mandates. And on Wednesday, Oakland, Piedmont and Hayward Unified became the latest school districts to require vaccines for students 12 and older.