RRH awaits final approval of CDC before booster vaccinations

RRH awaits final approval of CDC  before booster vaccinationsRidgecrest Regional Hospital– is awaiting for the Centers for Disease Control to allow the Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 boosters, and is beginning to call eligible patients in preparation for when final approval is been granted.

According to Dr. Peter Marks of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Research and Evaluation, FDA is completing an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of the additional vaccine doses. However, RRH officials noted that they must await the official EUA before proceeding.

“A transparent, thorough and objective review of the data by the FDA is critical so that the medical community and the public continue to have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Marks. “The FDA will review the supplemental application as expeditiously as possible, while still doing so in a thorough and science-based manner.”

Although there is no official schedule for when the boosters will be approved, RRH staff added that Pfizer is expected to be the only vaccine up for current approval. The timeline for Moderna booster approvals remains unknown.

“We have started contacting individuals today who are eligible having been vaccinated with Pfizer eight months prior,” said Michelle Whalley, RRH Rural Health Clinic Administrator.

“The hospital will hold dedicated clinics to vaccinate front-line healthcare workers and first-responders with boosters, along with a drive through clinic event in early October for eligible patients,” continued Whalley.

Information from the Kern County Department of Public Health indicates that the vaccination rate in Ridgecrest, which has lagged behind the county averages, continues to improve. In the population of individuals 12 years and older, more than 46 percent have now had at least one dose of the vaccine. Nearly 39 percent are fully vaccinated.

Patients who wish to obtain a first dose can ask their provider at any RRH clinic and walk-in vaccination appointments are also available at the RRH Urgent Care. For other local vaccination locations and availability visit myturn.ca.gov.

Story First Published: 2021-09-17