How to get a COVID-19 booster shot in Long Beach, and who qualifies

The Long Beach Department of Health is offering booster shots from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for those who qualify starting on Saturday.

Here’s what you need to know about booster shots, and how to get them in Long Beach.

Who can get the boosters?

For the Moderna and Pfizer booster, eligible people include those 65 and older, those 18 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions and those ages 18 and older with high institutional or occupational risk, including healthcare workers, longterm care facility residents, first responders, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and workers in homeless shelters or prisons.

Johnson & Johnson booster shots will be available for everyone 18 and older.

People will have to wait at least six months from the date they took their second dose of any of the two-shot vaccines before receiving a booster shot, but only two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Jennifer Rice Epstein, Long Beach health department spokeswoman, said that the difference in time gaps between the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots may confuse some people.

As an example, she said anyone who took an initial shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago is eligible for any of the booster shots. However, a person who took one of the two-shot vaccines, Moderna or Pfizer, will have to wait at least six months before being eligible for a booster.

In Long Beach, 56,603 people completed the Moderna two-dose series by April 20, and 19,982 completed the Johnson & Johnson single dose by August 20, meaning most of those individuals will be eligible for boosters.

Courtesy Long Beach Health and Human Services Department.

Can you mix boosters?

A CDC committee said people can mix-and-match booster shots. For instance, a person who took a Moderna vaccine at least six months ago and is among the eligible groups, they are eligible for any of the booster shots no matter the brand.

The committee said that health providers should aim to pair the same vaccine brand to its booster shot, however, if there is no supply of the same vaccine brand then they can mix.

Where to get a booster?

Long Beach residents who are eligible for a booster vaccine can get one at pop up clinics listed on the city’s vaccine webpage.

The state’s My Turn vaccine webpage is offering walk-up clinic locations or the chance to book an appointment for LA County residents. The county’s vaccine webpage is also offering walk-up clinics or the chance to make an appointment on the My Turn webpage.

The county’s public health director Ferrer said 342,003 Pfizer booster doses have been administered throughout the county so far.

These locations are currently only offering Pfizer’s booster shot, but once health officials receive guidance from the CDC they will also offer Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots.

A schedule of clinics in Long Beach where the Pfizer vaccine booster shot is being offered. Photo courtesy Long Beach Health and Human Services Department.

When will Johnson & Johnson and Moderna shots be available?

Starting Saturday, the city will offer Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccine booster shots.

The two booster vaccines now join Pfizer’s booster shot, which received emergency-use approval in September.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee on immunization practices voted to approve a recommendation to accept the FDA’s approval for the two booster vaccines.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county is preparing to offer the boosters. The Long Beach Health and Human Services Department will also offer the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters once the CDC director approves the committee’s recommendations.

“We’ve got everything we need,” Epstein, Long Beach health department spokeswoman, said.

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