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California’s MyTurn site allows all adults to get COVID booster appointments

A masked woman gets a flu shot as well as a COVID-19 booster shot.
Julie Markfield gets a flu shot as well as a COVID-19 booster shot at Flintridge Pharmacy on Tuesday.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

California’s MyTurn COVID-19 vaccination appointment scheduling tool is now allowing all adults to book appointments for booster shots without asking confusing questions on whether they are eligible.

As of Thursday morning, the MyTurn.ca.gov site has stopped asking adults who were originally vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots and are now seeking boosters whether they are in certain high-risk groups before allowing them to book an appointment.

The change will make it far easier to schedule booster shots. Many adults had previously expressed confusion about whether they were actually eligible for the boosters, citing complicated eligibility criteria originating from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Anyone who wants a booster can get a booster shot,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this week. “If you have been vaccinated, and it’s been six months, now you can get a booster shot [if you’re] 18 and over.”

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Federal health officials aren’t giving any specific recommendations, but there are options for COVID-19 boosters, and it’s OK if you mix vaccines.

The updated language finally makes the MyTurn vaccination appointment scheduling tool consistent with state recommendations updated Tuesday. The California Department of Public Health issued recommendations this week essentially recommending that all adults get a booster shot as long as they’re at least two months out from their Johnson & Johnson shot or at least six months after getting their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shots.

The COVID-19 vaccine scheduling site for Albertsons — which also operates Vons, Pavilions and Safeway — has also been updated to account for California’s latest eligibility wording.

Federal health officials aren’t giving any specific recommendations, but there are options for COVID-19 boosters, and it’s OK if you mix vaccines.

Many counties, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, and Ventura, as well as many in the San Francisco Bay Area, have adopted California’s simpler recommendations suggesting booster shots for all adults.

California’s guidelines are based on a new, particularly permissive interpretation of the CDC’s recommendations on who is eligible for booster shots among adults who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations. All adults vaccinated with the J&J shot have already been urged by the CDC to get a booster shot.

The CDC for weeks has said that seniors age 65 and up, adults with underlying conditions and those at higher risk of exposure to the coronavirus are eligible.

California is now saying that essentially all adults in the state qualify for the booster shot because basically everyone is at higher risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Federal vaccination recommendations are expected to catch up with California’s position within days.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC are expected to officially make booster shots available to all fully vaccinated adults by the end of this week, as long as enough time has passed since receiving their initial vaccination series.


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