Latest COVID-19 vaccine news from Keck Medicine of USC
With the vast amount of news coverage about vaccinations this week, I want to make sure you have the latest information regarding the health of you and your loved ones.
Select groups are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots
Patients in these groups who received a Pfizer vaccine more than 6 months ago are now eligible to receive a booster shot, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Boosters will help those who are at highest risk for COVID-19 increase their protection against the disease.
According to the CDC, the following groups should receive a booster:
- Ages 65 and older;
- Residents of long-term care facilities; and
- Ages 50 – 64 with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities.
The following groups may receive a booster:
- Ages 18 - 49 with underlying medical conditions; and
- Ages 18 – 64 who work in professions that place them at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure, including health care workers, first responders, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers, and workers in homeless shelters or prisons.
Many local pharmacies now offer this additional vaccine. You can visit the My Turn website to find a location convenient for you. Keck Medicine of USC will begin to offer booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine in coming weeks. More information about this effort will be shared with you soon.
You must bring either paper or electronic proof of vaccination (with dates) and may be asked to complete a self-attestation of eligibility form that you meet CDC guidelines.
Apart from these booster shots, third shots are also recommended for immuno-compromised patients.
Flu vaccine available and recommended
We strongly urge you and your family to get the flu vaccine. It offers real benefits —reducing illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as preventing flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
According to the CDC, it is safe for you to get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. Like the COVID-19 booster, flu shots are widely available at local pharmacies.
If you have questions about the flu vaccine or COVID-19 booster shots, talk to your doctor. In addition to getting vaccinated, please stay safe this fall — wash your hands, follow masking guidelines, and if you are sick, stay home.
Thank you for entrusting Keck Medicine with your care.
Keck Medicine of USC