The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted longer than any of us could have imagined. At 18 months and counting, our lives have been disrupted in a myriad of areas that may never return to how they were before. The County of San Diego reports that more than two million people, nearly 72 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. We are thankful to have the outstanding medical professionals and care close to home at Sharp Coronado Hospital. Chief Executive Officer Susan Stone, PhD RN FACHE NEA-BC, points out that it’s still important to remain vigilant and shares the latest information to keep residents updated.
What are the official recommendations for COVID booster shots, timelines, age/health requirements, and are all three companies, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson offering them?
San Diego County officials this week encouraged thousands of eligible residents to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters and reminded those who have not yet received the shot that it is the best way to avoid severe symptoms from the virus. Currently, only those who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago, and meet certain other criteria, are eligible. The booster is the same shot distributed during the vaccination phase.
COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are available for the following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least 6 months ago and meet one of the below criteria:
- 65 years and older
- 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- 18+ who work in high-risk settings
- 18+ who live in high-risk settings
More details about eligible groups can be found on the CDC website.
If you initially received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, you are not eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and so you will have to wait for FDA, CDC and Western States Group to give approval.
Do you currently still offer all three vaccines at Sharp Coronado Pharmacy?
The Coronado Community Pharmacy Vaccine Clinic offers Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for unvaccinated community members. If you are interested in a particular type of vaccine, please call 619-522-3996 to verify manufacturer availability. Pfizer booster vaccines have been approved by the FDA and are available through the Vaccine Clinic.
Can you tell us the latest on vaccines for children?
Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccine makers began vaccine trials in younger children that will eventually include babies as young as six months old. Some results from those trials are expected soon, and Pfizer states it hopes to receive authorization for vaccination of younger children (under 12) by late 2021.
Can you recommend where to get a rapid COVID test? Do you advocate or offer over-the-counter COVID tests?
When considering COVID testing, it is best to seek out advice from your personal physician. Each individual’s testing is unique and should be made with the input of the health care professional most familiar with the situation. The Coronado Community Pharmacy does not carry COVID rapid tests.
Can you give the community an informed opinion on transmission within our community? Should we be extra cautious due to tourists, or is the Coronado resident vaccination rate high enough that there’s not as much spread?
The COVID Delta Variant has been circulating widely throughout San Diego County, including Coronado. Out of all COVID molecular tests done in San Diego County over the last seven days, 3.5% these tests were positive for COVID-19. Continuing safe COVID practices of getting vaccinated, wearing masks, social distancing, limiting indoor activities with large numbers of people, and frequent hand washing have demonstrated effectiveness at reducing risk.
Can you give us an update on the COVID numbers here and how many current patients are at Coronado Sharp Hospital?
As of October 6, Sharp Coronado Hospital has two COVID positive inpatients.
Any other pertinent information you would like the community to know?
Overall, the most recent COVID-19 surge is beginning to reduce, we remain vigilant in tracking all aspects of this pandemic and continue our readiness preparation as this situation changes frequently.
Also, flu season is upon us. We encourage Coronado residents and their loved ones to receive this year’s flu vaccine. Sharp Coronado Hospital will be hosting drive-up, walk-up, Community Free Flu Shot Clinics for those at least 6 months of age, outside the Sandermann Auditorium entrance on Soledad Place on: October 11 and 12, from noon to 4 pm, and October 18, from 9 am to noon. High-dose flu shots will not be available at this location. If you are age 65 older and would like a high-dose flu shot, they are available at the Sharp Coronado Community Pharmacy, Monday through Friday, from 10 am to 4 pm on a walk-in basis. To learn more about the flu and where to get flu vaccines, visit sharp.com/flu.