Looking at California's new COVID-19 booster policy

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- COVID-19 vaccines can prevent hospitalization and death, but research suggests protection begins to fade about six months later for Moderna and Pfizer.

That's why California is recommending booster shots for everyone 18 and older.

It's a position that the CDC and FDA do not officially endorse at this time but are widely expected to change in the coming days.

For those who got the J&J vaccine, the CDC recommends adults get a booster two months after their first shot.

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"The same way we look at influenza vaccines, which basically we need annual boosters for," says Dr. Kenny Banh with UCSF Fresno.

On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom visited Kings County, one of the least-vaccinated areas of the state warning cases could spike again this winter.

"We still have a large portion of the population that has not yet gotten vaccinated," he said.

For weeks, booster shots were reserved only for people over 65 and adults at high risk of COVID-19 due to health conditions or work.

But California's MyTurn website now lets people 18 and older book a booster or find a walk-in location.

We headed to the UCSF Fresno mobile heal drive-thru clinic to see what the process is like.

Be prepared to show staff members your vaccine card and ID, Then continue in line to the next tent.

When you reach this point, a vaccine support specialist verifies your age and which vaccine you received.

Jim and Donna Bryson stopped by the Fresno clinic to get their COVID boosters.

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"Things aren't like they were before. We want to be safe."

Boosters add another layer of protection and health experts say that should give you extra peace of mind about celebrating the holidays with others.

But there are still precautions experts suggest you take.

"We ask that again when you are with your family members that you still just, you know, kind of stick by what we've said before," says Tulare County Public Health Director Karen Elliot.


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