How to get Omicron boosters at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and other California locations
Updated COVID-19 booster shots targeting the latest dominant Omicron subvariants are here and available at numerous locations.
“The upgraded shots will help protect you in the upcoming weeks and months,” Orange County health officer Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong said in a briefing Tuesday. “I want everybody to have a really good holiday season. But that means protecting yourself against the variants that are circulating.”
The updated shots are known as “bivalent” vaccines, because they protect against not only the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which have dominated the U.S. this summer, but also the original coronavirus strain.
Here’s a guide:
How to get a booster
- CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid are among the pharmacies that say they’re offering the new boosters. Appointments can be made on their respective websites.
- The L.A. County Department of Public Health said the updated booster was available as early as Wednesday at hundreds of sites countywide, including 12 operated by the agency, more than 700 mobile vaccine clinics and nearly 250 community, pharmacy and clinic sites.
- L.A. County residents can look up locations at VaccinateLACounty.com. Residents can also call (833) 540-0473 between 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week.
- The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday began offering the new boosters at its city-run vaccine clinics. The city’s schedule can be found on its website, where appointments can also be made or by calling (562) 570-4636.
- The Orange County Health Care Agency has started to offer the updated booster shots. Appointments are available at othena.com.
- Some vaccine providers’ computer systems still haven’t been updated yet to reflect availability of the updated Omicron booster. But “we know it’s already here in Orange County. It’s just a matter of time for those electronic systems to catch up,” Chinsio-Kwong said. She suggested people contact their pharmacy or healthcare provider to see if the updated booster has arrived.
- Here’s information about the updated vaccines for Ventura County. “All booster doses for those 12 and older will be with the bivalent booster vaccine,” county said on its website.
- California’s MyTurn website still hasn’t been updated to reflect availability of the Omicron booster. Officials say the site will be updated soon. Some counties’ websites also haven’t been updated.
- The vaccine remains free of charge.
L.A. County has already preordered about 170,000 doses and expects to receive them between Tuesday and Friday.
California “has been allotted over 1 million doses, and will have ample supply for all those who are eligible,” the state Department of Public Health said in a recent statement to The Times.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people ages 12 and older get the new booster shots. To be eligible, residents need to have completed their primary vaccination series and also be at least two months out from their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.
Types of vaccine
The FDA authorized the Omicron booster from Pfizer and BioNTech for those age 12 and older. The one from Moderna is available only for adults 18 and older.
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