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'Getting the unvaccinated vaccinated' | Newsom calls for increasing vaccination rates and promotes booster shots

According to the governor's office, nearly two million Californians have received their booster dose.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Alameda County on Wednesday where he provided an update on the state's efforts to increase vaccinations and booster shots to eligible people, while getting a booster shot himself.

“We are not just here to promote boosters in an abstract, we are here to promote caution and the imperative of considering getting boosters," Newsom said. "Particularly if your in these categories with underlying conditions or your vulnerable population 65 and over and alike because of what we anticipate this winter.”

Currently, boosters are now approved for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The Associated Press reports Pfizer boosters began last month, and recently the government cleared extra doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines too. But who's eligible — and when — differs depending on which vaccine you got first.

Newsom hit home the fact that the state wants to avoid a spike in cases as the winter months approach.

“We have fared extraordinary well this summer compared to many and most states,” Newsom said. “But if the past has any instruction to the future just consider some stubborn facts. This time last year on the 24th of October we had about 6,000 cases. One month later we had 18,000 cases. A month after that 54,000. We all want to be passed this pandemic, but we know the ticket out of this pandemic is getting these booster shots and getting the unvaccinated vaccinated.”

According to the governor's office, nearly two million Californians have received their booster dose, representing 14.3 percent of the nationwide total recipients as reported by the CDC.

The state has administered over 53 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the governor’s office. Newsom added that at least 88% of eligible Californians 18 and over have got their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re encouraging all eligible community members to come and get their booster shot,” Mychi Nguyen, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Asian Health Services, said. “This is the best way to continue to protect yourself against COVID.”

Related: Student COVID vaccinations: California becomes first state to require them for kids 12 and up

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] advisory panel voted 17-0 with one abstention to recommend the Pfizer vaccines for kids 5 to 11 years old. Less than a day after the announcement,  Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Service said the state expects to get approved to start administering vaccinations early November.

"Once these are approved, we encourage parents to call their pediatrician or local health clinic or provider to schedule a vaccine appointment for their child," Ghaly said.

Newsom announced on Oct. 1 that all eligible students are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine mandate applies to students age 12 and up. It will go into effect as early as Jan. 1, 2022, and the quarter following FDA approval. All school employees are also will be required to be vaccinated during the first phase.

Related: 79% of Sacramento city employees are vaccinated; police, fire and utilities among lowest rates

Wednesday it was reported nearly 80% of employees working for the city of Sacramento are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the city's Human Resources Department. 

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Increasing vaccination rates and promoting booster shots for eligible Californians