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covid-19 vaccine

Moderna announces step toward updating COVID shots for fall

in Health

Moderna hopes to offer updated COVID-19 boosters in the fall that combine its original vaccine with protection against the omicron variant. On Tuesday, it reported a preliminary hint that such an approach might work.

Today's COVID-19 vaccines all are based on the original version of the coronavirus. But the virus continues to mutate, with the super-contagious omicron variant - and its siblings - the latest threat.

Before omicron came along, Moderna was studying a combination shot that added protection against an earlier variant named beta. Tuesday, the company said people given that beta-original vaccine combination produced more antibodies capable of fighting several variants - including omicron - than today's regular booster triggers.

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California ends requirement for vaccine proof, negative tests at ‘mega’ events

in Around California

SAN DIEGO – Beginning Friday, California dropped its COVID-19 vaccine and proof of negative test requirement for large indoor events with both still strongly recommended even as case numbers fall.

State public health officials announced the move last month, ending a mandate that’s been in place since last fall. The shift applies to indoor “mega” events with crowds of 1,000 people or more and outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees.

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Stanislaus County and its cities report limited employee COVID-19 vaccination data

in Vaccinations

While other California government agencies release COVID-19 vaccination statistics for their workers serving the public, Stanislaus County and some of its cities provided limited data Tuesday.

Modesto reported an employee vaccination rate lower than the city's total percentage for residents age 12 and older, while the county said information on the number of vaccinated staff is unavailable.

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Health officials advise COVID-19 booster shot for some people

in Local Roundup

The increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in California has prompted health officials to recommend a vaccine booster shot for those individuals with compromised immune systems.

The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency is advising immunocompromised individuals get a third dose of the vaccine, especially as the more transmissible Delta variant continues to spread in the region.

The California Department of Public Health also is recommended a third shot for some individuals.

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Weekend clinic aims to vaccinate Turlock’s Westside

in Local Roundup

In an effort to expand vaccination access to Turlock’s underserved communities, Westside Ministries is hosting a vaccine clinic this weekend with thousands of dollars in raffle prizes as incentive for those who receive their first dose.

Westside Ministries founder JoLynn DiGrazia said that while the nonprofit organization has held flu vaccine clinics before in the past, this will be their first COVID vaccine clinic in collaboration with Livingston Community Health. Participants will receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which is available for people age 12 and older. 

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Children are the next frontier for COVID vaccine clinical trials

in Health
In this photo provided by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, clinical research coordinator Tammy Lewis-McCauley administers an injection to high school junior Katelyn Evans, a trial participant, as part of the hospital’s clinical trial of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center via AP)

Twelve-year-olds are tween-agers, staring down puberty and middle school, surprisingly mature one minute and tortured by angst the next.

Some also are scientific pioneers, volunteering for clinical trials to test COVID vaccines in children. Slowly and gingerly, researchers are testing COVID-19 vaccines in younger and younger kids — even as millions of doses are pushed into the arms of their parents — with an eye toward FDA approval in the next year or two.

“People try to minimize how sick kids get with COVID, but that’s a mistake,” said Brigham C. Willis, senior associate dean for medical education and professor of pediatrics at UC Riverside’s School of Medicine. “I work intensive pediatric care, and there’s a minority who get extremely ill. There are some deaths. It’s not a non-entity.

“And even though a large majority of kids won’t get extremely ill, they can still contract and spread it. To get control of the pandemic, you have to vaccinate both adults and children.”

Continue Reading on San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Sacramento County hopes to see vaccine distribution for general public by spring

in Health
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker holds a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine vial at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, in South Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Public health experts are trying to do the most good they can with the first batches of COVID-19 vaccine coming in.

The first doses are being set aside for people in places like hospitals and nursing homes, and as more doses come in, more people will qualify either by age, occupation, or health conditions.

“Right now, we have a huge demand, much more than the vaccine that is coming in,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer.

When it comes to a rollout for the general public, Dr. Kasirye said the county is hoping to get to that point by spring.

For now, the focus is on making sure that the county gets through the initial batch of vaccinations and that the people with higher risk are covered first. Afterward, they'll look toward increasing outreach.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

With Latino COVID-19 cases a problem for Stanislaus County, vaccine education starts now

in Health

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — For Stanislaus County, vaccine education for the Latino populations starts now.

With 64% of all the COVID-19 cases in the county being Latino, the way forward is inherently linked to getting the population vaccinated.

Kamlesh Kaur, a spokesperson for Stanislaus County Health Services Agency, said the Latino community was disproportionately impacted due in part to the sectors where many of them worked and due to many living in multi-generational households that spread the virus. 

Kaur said one of the key elements behind that 64% figure was the increased rates during the summer for Latinos and a lack of education and messaging.

“It (education) wasn’t as widespread at the time because it was also at the beginning of the pandemic, sort of,” Kaur said. “Since then, we have made a conscious effort in reaching out to the Latino community.”

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Today’s COVID-19 and vaccine updates for the Sacramento region

in Health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 3,900 vaccines heading to Stanislaus County possibly by Thursday

Stanislaus County is expecting the arrival of 3,900 coronavirus vaccines, possibly by Thursday, health officials confirmed.

Bobby Moser, spokesperson for Stanislaus County Health Services, said major hospitals like Kaiser Permanente, Doctors Medical Center, and Sutter Health would be getting their own shipments while the county handled distribution for the smaller clinics. 

The vaccine comes at time when hospitals are being overwhelmed with surging COVID-19 cases. Moser said that the vaccines won't do much to mitigate the holiday surge of cases in the near future. However, he did say it was a glimmer of hope for the county at this time.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

County to receive 3,900 COVID vaccine doses

in Health

Stanislaus County will be getting the initial allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines within days and will start administering it to frontline healthcare workers soon.

The county's first shipment will be 3,900 doses of the vaccination and is going to be given to frontline healthcare workers in the county, said Stanislaus County Health Services Agency spokesperson Kamlesh Kaur. The vaccine requires two shots for the highest level of protection, so the first shipment will not be enough to vaccinate all frontline healthcare workers, Kaur said.

The state received the first 33,000 doses from Pfizer on Monday. About 300,000 more doses are scheduled to be distributed this week and nearly 400,000 additional doses are expected next week, according to the Associated Press. Subsequent doses will also be set aside for healthcare workers, as well as residents and workers at long-term care and skilled-nursing facilities, who can expect to receive doses of the vaccine through local pharmacies.

Essential workers as well as those with medical conditions that leave them vulnerable to severe cases of the virus, will be among the next groups prioritized for vaccination, said Dr. Erica Pan, the acting state public health officer. The general public can expect to be vaccinated in the spring and summer.

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