Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for boosters for those over the age of 65 and high-risk individuals, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 23 released his COVID-19 Vaccine Action Plan.
It outlines how the state will be able to immediately begin administering doses to eligible Californians, continue its equity-centered focus on eligible but unvaccinated individuals and expand operations after more Californians are eligible.
“California continues to lead the nation in both vaccines administered and low case rates. Vaccines work. They are safe, effective and are how we end this pandemic,” Newsom said. “We fully support our federal partners’ determination to provide boosters, and California has built the necessary infrastructure to mobilize such vaccine distribution – all to help protect the health and well-being of Californians.”
Developed in concert with local partners and providers statewide, the administration is working to leverage the existing vaccine infrastructure to connect eligible Californians with local providers who can administer the vaccine.
California’s vaccine action plan outlines scenarios to ensure the state and partners can meet expected demand for boosters. The plan also ensures the state’s readiness to administer vaccines to Californians under age 12, which is anticipated as early as next month.
The state’s MyTurn.ca.gov platform is ready to launch its booster eligibility screener and appointment finder to connect Californians to walk-in vaccine locations and appointments. The site will also send text message alerts when individuals are eligible for a booster. The MyCAVax vaccine ordering tool is updated to allow providers to order the supply they need to meet the expected demand for these additional doses.
The state also has been undertaking a coordination effort to ensure partners are prepared and have the capacity to administer boosters and vaccines to children under age 12. The effort includes ongoing conversations with health plans and statewide pharmacy chains about potential partnership opportunities, as well as upcoming trainings for medical providers to ensure they have the information and resources they need.
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