Sunday, October 2, 2022

California Prepares to Vaccinate Kids, Give More Boosters

Originally published on, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

Similar to Governor Newsom, after a Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April, a booster of Moderna was used six months later.

Welcome to California’s vaccine rollout, part two: the booster and kids edition.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday received a booster shot of the Moderna vaccine, about seven months after getting the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The move reflects the “mix-and-match” strategy approved late last week by federal regulators and a group of Western public health experts, who also gave certain recipients of the Moderna and J&J vaccines the green light to receive boosters. Elderly and at-risk people who received the Pfizer vaccine have been eligible for booster shots since late September.

But even as Newsom extolled California’s coronavirus case rate — which remains among the lowest in the nation — he warned that without sufficient precautions the Golden State could soon find itself in the predicament it did last winter, when so many hospitals were overflowing with COVID patients that he placed the state under a regional stay-at-home order tied to ICU capacity. In recent weeks, California’s coronavirus positivity rate and hospitalizations have plateaued instead of continuing to decline.

  • Newsom: “I want to be sober about the moment we’re in because in many ways it’s reminiscent of where we were last year. … Let’s not put our guard down. Let’s get those booster shots. Let’s encourage those that haven’t gotten vaccines to get vaccinated.”

Also Wednesday, the state’s top public health officials outlined their plan to vaccinate California’s 3.5 million children aged 5 to 11, who could be cleared to receive the Pfizer vaccine by the end of next week. The state expects to receive 1.2 million kid-sized doses in the next few days, and thousands of providers and schools are preparing to administer them.

Meanwhile, California’s vaccine wars continue. Asked about his plan to require students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it’s fully approved by federal regulators for their age group — which likely wouldn’t happen until next year — Newsom said he also supports “local efforts to move those deadlines forward.” But some districts with inoculation deadlines earlier than the state’s are getting hit with lawsuits: San Diego Unified, for example, received a second legal challenge this week.

The Golden State’s battle with In-N-Out is also escalating. Contra Costa County shut down one of the burger chain’s locations on Tuesday for failing to verify customers’ vaccination status. The San Francisco health department is investigating another location that was previously fined for the same violation, and In-N-Outs in Pinole and San Ramon have also received fines and citations for not checking vaccine cards.

When asked about In-N-Out Wednesday, Newsom said, “I love hamburgers! In moderation.” He added, “I’m not going to get caught up in this situation. In-N-Out Burger is one of our great home-based businesses. … Years back, you may recall they doubled down on their commitment to our state. I want to double down on my commitment to them.”

Newsom is also doubling down on his commitment to prison guards. On Monday, his administration asked a federal judge to put on hold an order requiring state prison staff to get vaccinated while the administration’s appeal of the order makes its way through the courts. If the vaccine order were to be enforced, Newsom’s administration wrote, the state prison department could see “crippling” job losses.

For its part, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a plan to postpone its inoculation deadline for city workers until Dec. 18.

The coronavirus bottom line: As of Tuesday, California had 4,635,540 confirmed cases (+0.1% from previous day) and 71,295 deaths (+0.2% from previous day), according to state data. CalMatters is also tracking coronavirus hospitalizations by county.

California has administered 52,327,114 vaccine doses, and 72.7% of eligible Californians are fully vaccinated.

Written By

Emily Hoeven writes the daily WhatMatters newsletter for CalMatters. 


Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: