Local News

COVID-19 Updates

New COVID Variant prompts travel restrictions

Following the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant (Omicron) in South Africa, President Biden announced travel restrictions from eight African countries on November 26.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled Omicron a “variant of concern.” Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant.

The President’s order restricts entry into the United States of noncitizens who were physically present within the countries of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

The travel restrictions do not apply to citizens, permanent residents, and US nationals or their families.

No cases of this variant had been identified in the U.S. as of November 26. Cases have been reported in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

For more information visit www.cdc.gov.

All Adults 18+ now eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

On November 19, the FDA expanded its emergency use authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine boosters to all adults ages 18 and over, paving the way for people to receive a booster shot at least six months after completing their primary series.

Anyone eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose is encouraged to access the most convenient option available to get their shot. For more information on where to go for a vaccine, visit COVIDVaccineFacts.com and click on “Find a COVID-19 Vaccine”.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) offers the following tips to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 during the upcoming holiday season:

• Get vaccinated (against COVID-19 and flu), including a COVID-19 booster shot if eligible.

• Stay home if you are sick.

• Get tested 1-3 days before a family gathering or before any travel, even if you have no symptoms, and try again 3-5 days later upon returning home.

• If your gathering includes unvaccinated individuals, keep your group small, short, and outdoors, and wear a mask over both your nose and mouth.

• Gather outside or increase airflow in indoor spaces by opening doors and windows.

COVID-19 Vaccines for children ages 5-11

Pfizer vaccines are now Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) for prevention of COVID infection for children age 5-15 years.

What you should know

The COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer) for Kids Ages 5-11:

• Is a different dose size than those ages 12+

• Is safe and effective with minimum side effects

• Significantly reduces your child’s risk of getting COVID, or suffering from severe COVID

• Generates a robust immune response offering protection when going to school and other indoor social gatherings

• Can reduce missed school days

Scientific statements:

• Pfizer was found to be 90.7% effective for those ages 5-11, and 95% for those ages 12+

• Pfizer vaccine reduced risk for COVID hospitalization by 93% among adolescents ages 12-18.

• Natural immunity is not enough. Vaccination is also still recommended for those who have been infected with COVID, as immunity from natural infection is not certain. A recent study showed that unvaccinated people with previous COVID infection were 5x more likely to get infected with COVID compared to vaccinated people. 

Ready to vaccinate your child?

To book an appointment, visit:

• Your local pharmacy’s website

• Your health provider

Vaccines.gov

MyTurn.ca.gov

Othena.com

Remember to select the specific age of your child when scheduling as doses are different for those ages 5-11 than those ages 12+.

Some providers, pharmacies, or health systems are also offering vaccine appointments for children that may not appear on myturn.ca.gov.

For the latest COVID-19 information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com or call (714) 834-2000.

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