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San Diego County officials urge COVID booster shots for those eligible

Currently, only those who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago, and meet certain other criteria, are eligible.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — San Diego County officials Monday encouraged thousands of eligible residents to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters and reminded those who have not yet received the shot that it is the best way to avoid severe symptoms from the virus.

"Boosters are an incredible tool. FDA and CDC are in agreement with the utility and value they hold," said County Supervisor Chair Nathan Fletcher.

Currently, only those who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago, and meet certain other criteria, are eligible. Those who received Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines will have to wait for U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration approval.

The CDC recommends the following groups get the booster:

  • Those 65 and older;
  • Those 18 or older living in long-term care facilities; and
  • Those 50-64 with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Additional groups are eligible for the booster, including:

  • Those 18-49 with health conditions;
  • Those 18-64 who work in occupations working with the public, such as first responders, educators, grocery workers and food service workers.

Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said the booster shot is the same as the original dose.

As for where to go for the booster shot, options include your doctor's office, one of 254 pharmacies within the County offering the booster, or a County vaccination site.

You'll need your vaccine card or a copy or picture of it, and appointments are suggested.

County leaders say there is more than enough supply to go around, though they caution only those who are eligible should get a booster shot.

Meanwhile, Fletcher said in terms of vaccinations, the county was outpacing most of the state -- which already has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation -- and that San Diegans should be proud of their efforts to combat COVID-19.

Nearly 4.72 million vaccine doses have been administered in San Diego County, with around 2.5 million -- or 87.7% of eligible county residents -- having received at least one dose. Fully vaccinated county residents now number more than 2.2 million, or around 78.2% of the county's eligible population. San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas also noted that the South County has a vaccination rate of 88.8%, and offered kudos to those communities.

On Sunday the county reported 472 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths.

Sunday's data brought the county's cumulative totals to 354,391 cases while fatalities remained at 4,051 since the pandemic began.

The number of COVID patients in county hospitals decreased from 393 on Saturday to 385, with 138 of those patients in intensive care, according to state figures.

A total of 27,290 new tests were logged Friday, and the percentage of positive cases over the past seven days was 3.7%. The county does not update lab test numbers on weekends.

A total of 37 new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days: 18 in grade school settings, four in business settings, four in restaurant/bar settings, three in daycare/preschool/childcare settings, two in government settings, one in a college/university setting, one in a construction setting, one in a grocery setting, one in a health care setting, one in a restaurant setting and one in a retail setting.

San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents is 27.6 overall, 13.0 for fully vaccinated people and 47.3 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

No-cost COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. They can be found at medical providers, pharmacies, community clinics and county public health centers for people who do not have a medical provider.

A list of locations and more information is available HERE.

WATCH RELATED: Do you need a COVID-19 booster shot in San Diego County? (Sep 27, 2021)