Ready for a second booster? You’ll have to wait just a little while

Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services holds an evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic
The city of Long Beach’s Department of Health and Human Services holds an evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus on July 6.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Update: Second booster shots are now available to people ages 50 and older as well as people 12 and older who are immunocompromised or who have received Johnson & Johnson as their primary series and booster doses. Click here to learn more.

Masks are gone for the time being, but the return of the jab is on the horizon.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for people ages 50 and older, as well as for immunocompromised individuals. Hours later, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) followed suit, allowing the rollout to officially begin.

The highly infectious BA.2 Omicron subvariant is now the dominant version of the coronavirus circulating in the United...

Importantly, though, you’re not likely to get an appointment just yet. Health providers await clinical guidance from the CDC, which is expected to come later this week or next week.

Drugstores and pharmacies will follow a similar timeline. Make sure to check in with yours to find out the earliest availability.

County Health spokesperson Corinne Hyland said that the county health center will wait for the Western States Scientific Safety Review and the California Department of Public Health to give the green light before administering second boosters.

Lookout‘s quick survey of health providers reveals that booster appointments should be widely available soon after the CDC releases its guidance.
To all the 50+ and immunocompromised readers, here’s what we know per the FDA:

  • A second booster dose of either vaccine can only be given at least four months after the patient received their first booster dose. This applies to all patients 50 and older, as well as immunocompromised patients ages 12 and older.
  • “Immunocompromised” applies to people who have undergone solid organ transplants, or who have conditions that are considered to imply an equivalent level of immunodeficiency.
  • The FDA says that it will continue to evaluate data as available, which it will use to inform the decision of recommending a second booster to other age groups.

The move comes as a more transmissible version of the Omicron variant dubbed “Stealth Omicron” makes the rounds in Europe and Asia, and is now the dominant variant in the United States as well. The current data does not suggest that it causes more severe illness than the original Omicron variant.

To schedule initial doses, boosters, and second boosters when available, find the best option for you on Lookout’s COVID Dashboard or on California’s MyTurn platform.