Gavin Newsom gets COVID-19 booster, encourages Californians to get the jab when eligible

·2 min read

Almost seven months after getting his initial COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday received a COVID-19 booster shot and encouraged residents to also get the jab as the state approaches a potentially dangerous winter season.

Newsom rolled up the sleeve of his t-shirt and got the shot from Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services, while visiting Asian Health Services in Oakland’s Chinatown.

Despite getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April, Newsom on Wednesday got a dose of the Moderna vaccine. Health officials have approved of the mixing and matching of initial vaccines and boosters.

“I want to be sober about the moment we’re in, because in many ways its reminiscent of where we were last year,” Newsom said referencing the spike in cases that occurred last winter. “I want folks to understand why this is more important than it may appear. We’re here to promote caution and the imperative of considering getting boosters.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Assemblywoman Mia Bonta, D-Oakland, also got booster shots.

“Great way to make yourself safer, and your family safer and your whole community safer,” Schaaf said. “As soon as you’re eligible, get your booster.”

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control expanded the eligibility for booster shots.

Individuals who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine can get a third shot six months or more after their initial inoculation. They must also be 65 years or older, or at least 18 and living in long-term care, have underlying medical conditions or work in high-risk settings, like grocery store workers and first responders.

Those over 18 who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including Newsom, are eligible for a booster two or more months after the first dose.

According to state data, 72.7% of Californians are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, and the state has administered boosters to more than 2 million residents. Ghaly said as the state approaches winter holidays, its time for Californians to seriously consider getting a booster shot.

In Sacramento County, 62.4% of residents are at least partially vaccinated, according to county data.

California has issued several decrees mandating the vaccine for certain groups.

In the last few months, California has added the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccinations required to attend school in-person and required that workers in health care settings be fully vaccinated.

California also requires all school staff and state workers to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week.

Newsom warned Californians not to let their guards down as the holidays approach.

“Our attention wanes, we start focusing on other things and as a consequence, we let our guard down,” Newsom said. “We know that the ticket out of this pandemic is getting these booster shots and getting the unvaccinated vaccinated, and we still have more work to do.”

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