The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that Los Angeles County has begun administering third vaccine doses of Pfizer and Moderna for certain immunocompromised people who qualify.
This follows Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approval of an additional dose of these vaccines for immunocompromised people. The FDA has amended the Emergency Use Authorization for these vaccines to allow for a third dose, which can be administered at least 28 days following the second dose of the vaccine. A follow-up dose is not currently recommended for people who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: Although the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work very well in most individuals, there is evidence that individuals who are severely immunocompromised are not fully protected after receiving two doses and this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose. Certain medical conditions or the treatments used for specific conditions may prevent the immune system from responding adequately to two doses of the vaccine and therefore require an additional dose to provide adequate protection from COVID-19.
Individuals who qualify for a third dose include organ transplant recipients, people undergoing cancer treatment, people with advanced or untreated HIV, and those on certain immunosuppressive medications. Individuals should ideally be vaccinated with the same vaccine they received for the first and second dose, but if that is not possible, receiving a third dose with another mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is acceptable, according to LA County.
Individuals who qualify for a third vaccine dose are encouraged to speak to their healthcare provider to confirm their eligibility and to get vaccinated. Third vaccine doses will be accessible through vaccination sites that currently offer Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Eligible individuals will be able to provide a self-attestation that they have a qualifying medical condition at these sites.
A sharp increase in community transmission of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County continues to cause significant concern. On Friday, August 13, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 19 new deaths and 3,810 new cases of COVID-19.
Data continues to affirm that, for the general population, fully vaccinated people are well protected from severe infections with Delta variants. While there is evidence that a very small number of fully vaccinated individuals can become infected and contribute to community spread, most new cases and hospitalizations are those who are unvaccinated.
Local Public Health Officials are reminding community members that it is important to get tested for COVID-19 infection for people who develop symptoms, even if fully vaccinated. COVID-19 testing remains widely available across the county. Residents should first call their healthcare provider for a COVID-19 test. For people who cannot get a test through a healthcare provider, free testing is available; please visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.
Los Angeles County coordinates a COVID-19 West Hollywood testing site at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. The testing site is open each week from Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is adjacent to the Community Center in the South Parking Lot. Tests are being administered by Fulgent Genetics. Although walk-ins are welcome, it is strongly encouraged that those interested in getting a test pre-register for an appointment at la.fulgentgenetics.com. People getting tests should bring ID and confirmation number to the appointment.
Health officials urge all people to get vaccinated. Residents ages 12 and older with internet access are urged to use www.VaccinateLACounty.com to sign up for a vaccination appointment. For people without access to a computer or the Internet, or people with disabilities, an LA County call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to help schedule appointments at (833) 540-0473.
Additional information, such as links to West Hollywood-area drug store chains offering vaccinations, is available on the City of West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/coronavirus in the Vaccines and Testing Information section.