Contra Costa County Ready to Vaccinate Children Ages 5-11 Once They're Eligible
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) has pre-ordered thousands of pediatric doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine as the county prepares for federal and state health officials to expand eligibility to kids ages 5-11.
CCHS expects to receive about 20,000 doses of the pediatric version of the Pfizer vaccine for county and partner clinics early this week. Other healthcare providers and pharmacies are also stocking up and getting ready.
CCHS is also working with education and healthcare partners in the region – including John Muir Health, Kaiser, La Clinica and Lifelong Medical – to host vaccine clinics at school sites once eligibility expands to younger kids. We will be announcing more details about school-based vaccine clinics soon.
“I know a lot of parents have been waiting a long time to be able to get their younger kids vaccinated,” said Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “We’re almost there. If everything goes right, parents will be able to get their children fully vaccinated before the winter holidays.”
The timing of when the vaccine becomes available to younger children depends on when federal and state officials complete their review process. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5-11.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) will be deciding whether to recommend Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine next week for children ages 5-11. The CDC’s recommendation is required before vaccines can be given to this age group.
If the CDC recommends the vaccine for the younger age group, it may take a couple of days until immunization clinics actually begin administering the pediatric vaccines. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, a regional collaborative of scientists from several states including California with expertise in immunization and public health, must also weigh in after the CDC makes it decision.
Parents should check with their child’s regular healthcare provider or local pharmacies about availability. CCHS expects to begin offering the pediatric vaccine by Nov. 6 at county-run vaccination clinics.
The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, which is one-third the dosage given to teens and adults, will come in different vials and packaging than the adult version. Like with adults, children ages 5-11 still must get two shots at least three weeks apart to get the maximum protection of the vaccine, which was shown to have a 90.7% efficacy rate in clinical trials among this age group.
Initial demand for the pediatric vaccine is expected to be high as eager parents seek protection for their children. There are an estimated 92,000 county residents between the ages of 5 and 11.
Contra Costa County has a high vaccination rate among its eligible residents, including among those ages 12-15, which is currently the youngest age group eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. About 87% of residents ages 12-15 have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Many who Received Moderna, Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Eligible for Boosters
Many Contra Costa residents who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine can now consider booster doses for increased protection heading into the holiday season.
After reviewing research, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have found that booster doses of all available COVID-19 vaccines are not only safe, but significantly improve protection against both infection and serious illness, including from the delta variant.
Fully vaccinated people may also now choose any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines for their booster doses when they are eligible, regardless of the vaccine used during their initial immunization.
“All of the COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective but, as with most vaccines, the protection they provide reduces over time. That is why getting a booster dose is a healthy choice,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, deputy health officer for Contra Costa. “It is also critical for anyone who has not already done so to get vaccinated today. COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection we have against the virus, including for people who were previously infected.”
Anyone who is 18 or older and received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine should receive a booster of any of the three available vaccines after at least two months have passed since their initial dose.
As with people vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, those who received Moderna vaccine should get a booster dose, according to the CDC, if at least six months have passed since they completed their initial course of vaccination, and they are:
Those who are 18 to 64 and are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their occupation or institutional setting
Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and its community healthcare partners are prepared to deliver safe, effective, and free COVID-19 booster doses for all eligible residents.
The best place for most Contra Costa residents to seek booster doses is through their own healthcare providers or their local neighborhood pharmacies. COVID-19 vaccine is now plentiful, and CCHS is in regular communication with community healthcare providers, clinics and pharmacies to ensure that all eligible residents can access vaccine.
Beginning Tuesday, CCHS’ free vaccination clinics will also offer booster doses by appointment to anyone who is eligible. Call 1-833-829-2626 to make an appointment, or use our online form at cchealth.org/coronavirus.
So far more than 87% of Contra Costa residents who are 12 or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 82% are fully vaccinated. For information about pharmacies and other providers that offer COVID-19 vaccine to the public, visit our Get Vaccinated page. Most providers will require appointments.
Contra Costa to Lift Masking Requirements in
Some Indoor Settings on November 1, 2021
With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations declining, Contra Costa County will lift masking requirements in certain indoor settings where everyone is fully vaccinated on Nov. 1. Eligible settings include controlled spaces not open to the general public, such as:
Gyms and fitness centers
Employee commuter vehicles
Indoor college classes
Organized gatherings in any other indoor setting, such as a religious gathering
Eligible participating businesses, organizations and hosts must verify that all patrons, employees and attendees are fully vaccinated before allowing people inside their facilities not to wear face coverings. There can be no more than 100 persons present at these facilities, and the group of those present must gather on a regular basis. Those present should also not have COVID-19 symptoms.
“This will allow vaccinated people to feel safe removing their masks at the office and when they’re working out at the gym,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County. “Of course, people in these places can keep wearing masks if that makes them feel more comfortable.”
Indoor-masking requirements would remain in effect for the time-being in public settings, such as bars, restaurants and retail stores until other targets are met. Masking would also still be required in indoor K-12 school settings.
Contra Costa Retirará el Requisito de Uso de Mascarillas en Algunos Entornos en
Interiores el 1 de Noviembre
Con la disminución de los casos y las hospitalizaciones por COVID-19, a partir del 1 de noviembre el Condado de Contra Costa retirará los requisitos de uso de mascarillas faciales en ciertos entornos en interiores, siempre y cuando todas las personas presentes estén completamente vacunadas. Los entornos elegibles incluyen aquellos espacios controlados que no estén abiertos al público en general, tales como:
Gimnasios y centros de acondicionamiento físico
Vehículos de transporte de empleados
Clases universitarias en interiores
Reuniones organizadas en cualquier otro entorno en interiores, como una reunión religiosa
Los negocios, organizaciones y anfitriones participantes elegibles deben verificar que todos los clientes, empleados y asistentes estén completamente vacunados antes de permitir que las personas que se encuentren en sus instalaciones no utilicen una mascarilla facial. No puede haber más de 100 personas presentes en dichas instalaciones y el grupo de personas presentes debe reunirse de forma regular. Además, las personas presentes no deben tener síntomas de COVID-19.
“Esto permitirá que las personas vacunadas se sientan seguras al quitarse la mascarilla facial en la oficina y cuando hagan ejercicio en el gimnasio”, dijo el Dr. Chris Farnitano, oficial de salud del Condado de Contra Costa. “Desde luego que las personas presentes en estos lugares pueden seguir utilizando mascarillas si eso les hace sentir más cómodas”.
Los requisitos de uso de mascarillas en interiores siguen vigentes por el momento en entornos públicos como bares, restaurantes y tiendas, hasta que se cumplan otros objetivos. También se requiere utilizar mascarillas faciales en interiores en entornos escolares K-12.
Contra Costa Establishes Criteria for
Lifting Indoor Masking Order
Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano today announced the criteria that will be used to lift the current indoor-masking order in our county:
There are fewer than 75 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county; AND
One of the following conditions is met:
80% of the total population is fully vaccinated
Eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for 5- to 11-year-olds
When these criteria are met – which is project to be at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022 – Dr. Farnitano will lift the local masking order, which requires everyone to wear face coverings in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status. After the local masking order is lifted, unvaccinated residents will still need to wear masks in indoor public settings under the state’s face-covering order.
While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined recently, transmission rates remain relatively high, and it will be weeks before the order is lifted. Contra Costa County has yet to reach the CDC’s moderate (yellow) tier and remains in the higher “substantial” (orange) COVID-19 transmission tier.
The criteria were established by Dr. Farnitano in collaboration with other Bay Area health officers who enacted similar masking orders in early August as the delta variant fueled a surge in cases and hospitalizations.
Stephen L. Weir Building Dedication
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors honored former Contra Costa elections chief Stephen Weir by dedicating the Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Building as the Stephen L. Weir Building. This is a fitting tribute to his legacy and I am honored to be a part of it.
Stephen Weir served as the Contra Costa County clerk-recorder and register of voters from 1989 to 2013. He was also the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials president from 2006 to 2008, served on the Concord City Council from 1980 to 1989, and served on other regional commissions.
COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination or Test Required for Some Contra Costa Businesses
Contra Costa County joined San Francisco, Berkeley and other communities across the U.S. today with a countywide health order that increases COVID-19 safety in restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses where there is elevated risk of the virus spreading.
The new order, effective September 22, requires patrons of these businesses to show proof they are fully vaccinated to enter indoor areas, or a negative COVID-19 test result from the past 72 hours.
Contra Costa has endured a severe spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer due to the increasing prevalence of the highly infectious delta variant of the virus and unvaccinated residents.
While the peak of the surge seems to have passed, data show the county’s daily case rate remains as high as it was last February. There were 15 COVID-related deaths in Contra Costa from August 25 to 31, and 20 from September 1 to 7, the two highest seven-day totals since March. Unvaccinated residents account for 95.9% of the county’s deaths so far.
COVID-19 case rates are about five times higher in unvaccinated county residents compared to fully vaccinated residents, hospitalization rates are approximately 16 times higher, and death rates are approximately 22 times higher.
“This order is necessary now to save lives, protect our overburdened healthcare system, and slow the pandemic enough to keep our schools open,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. “Reducing community transmission of the virus now is key to preventing future spikes in cases from overwhelming our county’s hospitals during the winter months.”
The new order applies to businesses where people remove face coverings to eat or drink indoors, such as restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, and to gyms and other indoor fitness facilities, including yoga and dance studios, where patrons breathe more heavily due to exercise.
The order also includes a requirement for workers in indoor areas of these businesses to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by November 1 or test weekly for COVID-19.
To show proof of vaccination, patrons must show photo ID and their vaccination record cards from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), or copies or pictures of their cards. Documentation from healthcare providers will also be accepted, as will digital COVID-19 vaccine records issued by the State of California.
Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for more information about this health order, or to find a safe, fast and free COVID-19 vaccination in Contra Costa County.
Helping Hands Referral Program
We are in the midst of an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases, particularly among communities of color and young people in Contra Costa County.
Over the past month, 50% of the COVID-19 cases have been in Black or Latinx residents while these groups make up just over 35% of Contra Costa’s population. COVID -19 continues to take a painfully disproportionate toll on our communities of color, that are more susceptible to the more contagious Delta variant because Black and Latinx residents also have the lowest vaccination rates. COVID-19 vaccination rates in Contra Costa County:
Black - 58%
Latinx - 67%
Asian - more than 90%
White - 76%
In response to the urgent need to protect our most vulnerable residents, CCHS is launching the Helping Hands Referral Program to increase access to vaccination by empowering community leaders, building trust, and helping others make the choice to get vaccinated.
You are leaders in the community who people trust to share facts and you listen to people’s concerns with empathy. With the Helping Hands Referral Program, when your conversation leads to someone making the choice to get vaccinated, the bonus is you get $100 - a win-win for you and the community!
Anyone aged 14 or older can help unvaccinated friends, neighbors and co-workers get vaccinated at a CCHS vaccination site and they will earn $100 for every person they help get fully vaccinated.
CCHS is asking you to partner with us in this call-to-action by continuing the invaluable work you are already doing – connecting with our most vulnerable community members – to help people stay safe and healthy by getting vaccinated.
You or your organization will be paid $100 total as a check or gift card after each person you help gets fully vaccinated (meaning they receive one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine). Payments can be directed to individuals, organizations, businesses, or charities.
Bay Area Health Officials Urge Immediate Vaccination and Issue Orders Requiring Use of Face Coverings Indoors to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley Indoor Masking Orders Take Effect Tuesday
Vaccination continues to protect against severe COVID-19 illness, but with the COVID-19 Delta variant now infecting a small percentage of vaccinated people as well as many unvaccinated people, eight Bay Area health officers have issued health orders requiring masks indoors in public places.
The orders require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings, with limited exceptions, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, August 3rd.
Vaccines remain the most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Nonetheless, the Delta variant is infecting a small percentage of the vaccinated in the Bay Area — who still remain strongly protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. In those instances of infection in a vaccinated person, a face covering prevents further spread. Bay Area health officials urge all unvaccinated residents 12 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“We must act now to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. If you are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine and have not yet done so, please do not wait any longer,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa. “During July the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in our county increased 400%. Four out of five of the COVID patients we see are not vaccinated, even though only one out of five Contra Costa adults are not vaccinated.”
These health orders aim to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 and protect everyone. Health officials are very concerned by the substantial levels of community transmission now found across the Bay Area, especially among unvaccinated people. In part, this is due to the widespread COVID-19 Delta variant, which is substantially more transmissible than previous forms of the virus. Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicates that even fully vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the Delta variant to others, and so indoor use of face coverings provides an important added layer of protection.
The new Health Orders require wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public settings. Indoor settings, whether public or private, are higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, especially when you are with people you do not live with. Health officials also recommend that all employers make face coverings available to individuals entering their businesses, and businesses are required to implement the indoor face covering order.
Today’s Health Orders are consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health, which recommend that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks while in indoor public settings. Bay Area Health Officers will continue to monitor data, including increasing vaccination throughout the region, to determine when the Orders can be adjusted or lifted.
Los Oficiales del Area de la Bahía Recomiendan Enfáticamente la Vacunación Inmediata y Emiten Ordenes para Requerir el Uso de Mascarillas Faciales en Interiores a Fin de Prevenir el Contagio del COVID-19
Las Ordenes de Uso de Mascarillas Faciales en Interiores Entran en Vigor el Martes en los Condados de Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma y la Ciudad de Berkeley.
Las vacunas siguen protegiendo contra la enfermedad grave del COVID-19, pero debido a que la variante Delta del COVID-19 infecta a un pequeño porcentaje de personas vacunadas, así como a muchas personas no vacunadas, ocho oficiales de salud del Area de la Bahía han emitido órdenes de salud que requieren el uso de mascarillas faciales en lugares públicos en interiores.
Las órdenes requieren que todas las personas utilicen una mascarilla facial cuando estén en lugares públicos en interiores, con excepciones limitadas, a partir de las 12:01 a.m. del martes 3 de agosto.
Las vacunas siguen siendo la herramienta más poderosa que tenemos en la lucha contra el COVID-19, incluyendo la variante Delta. Sin embargo, la variante Delta está infectando a un pequeño porcentaje de personas vacunadas en el Área de la Bahía, quienes siguen estando fuertemente protegidas contra la enfermedad grave, la hospitalización y la muerte por COVID-19. En los casos de infección de personas vacunadas, el uso de una mascarilla facial evita el contagio adicional. Los oficiales de salud del Area de la Bahía recomiendan enfáticamente que todos los residentes no vacunados de 12 años de edad y mayores se vacunen lo más pronto posible.
"Debemos actuar ahora para protegernos a nosotros mismos, a nuestros seres queridos y a nuestra comunidad. Si usted es elegible para vacunarse contra el COVID-19 y todavía no lo ha hecho, por favor no espere más", mencionó el Dr. Chris Farnitano, oficial de salud de Contra Costa. "Durante el mes de julio, el número de pacientes hospitalizados por COVID-19 en nuestro condado aumentó 400%. Cuatro de cada cinco de estos pacientes no estaban vacunados, aunque solamente uno de cada cinco adultos de Contra Costa no se ha vacunado".
El objetivo de estas órdenes de salud es reducir la transmisión comunitaria del COVID-19 y proteger a todas las personas. Los oficiales de salud están muy preocupados por los niveles sustanciales de transmisión comunitaria que actualmente hay en el Area de la Bahía, especialmente entre personas no vacunadas. En parte, esto se debe a la propagación de la variante Delta del COVID-19, la cual es considerablemente más transmisible que las cepas anteriores del virus. La información reciente de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades también indica que incluso las personas completamente vacunadas pueden, en algunos casos, contagiar la variante Delta a otras personas, por lo que el uso de mascarillas faciales en interiores proporciona un importante nivel de protección adicional.
La nuevas Ordenes de Salud requieren el uso de una mascarilla facial bien ajustada en entornos públicos en interiores. Los entornos interiores, ya sean públicos o privados, presentan un mayor riesgo de transmisión del COVID-19, especialmente si usted se encuentra con personas ajenas a su hogar. Los oficiales de salud también recomiendan que todos los empleadores ofrezcan mascarillas faciales a las personas que entren en sus negocios y las empresas están obligadas a implementar la orden de utilizar mascarillas faciales en interiores.
Las órdenes de salud del día de hoy son consistentes con los lineamientos de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades y del Departamento de Salud Pública de California, los cuales recomiendan que las personas completamente vacunadas utilicen mascarillas mientras estén en lugares públicos cerrados. Los Oficiales del Area de la Bahía seguirán monitoreando los datos, incluyendo un aumento en la aplicación de vacunas en la región, para determinar cuándo se pueden ajustar o retirar las Ordenes.
Para obtener más información sobre el COVID-19 y averiguar cómo recibir una vacuna gratuita cerca de usted, visite cchealth.org/coronavirus.