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The latest local COVID-19 developments


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended its emergency use authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, allowing children ages 12-15 to get a booster vaccine dose. This comes after reviewing data from more than 63 hundred children in Israel, that showed no new safety concerns for this age group after receiving a booster.

The public health departments in San Francisco and Santa Cruz County announced Friday they are adopting the new shortened COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDCdirects isolation for individuals, who have tested positive for COVID-19. It also calls for a quarantine for people with exposure to the virus, or close contact with someone known to have COVID-19.

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 can isolate for five days instead of 10. Those with a known exposure to COVID-19, and who are unvaccinated, or are vaccinated but not yet boosted, can also quarantine for five days instead of 10. This is assuming they test negative on the fifth day or later, preferably using an antigen test.

Wearing a well-fitting mask,the CDC adds, will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others post isolation or quarantine.

Anyone suffering from an ongoing fever should isolate until symptoms resolve or mask for 10 days.

Latest COVID-19 News from FDA

The FDA also announced Monday that it will reduce the time Pfizer vaccine recipients must wait to be eligible for a booster from six months to five months. Moderna vaccine recipients are still required to wait at least six months for a booster while Johnson & Johnson recipients will still be required to wait at least two months after receiving their initial shot.

For children ages 5-11, the FDA has expanded the primary vaccination series from two doses to three if the child is immunocompromised due to illness or a solid organ transplant.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine option for children ages 5-11. FDA officials said that the third dose will allow eligible immunocompromised children to receive the full expected protection of vaccination.

Do I qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine booster and which one?