San Francisco Department of Public Health officials said on Tuesday they were making an “accommodation” for those who have consulted with a physician. It is not a recommendation or policy change, the officials said.
“We are not recommending. We are accommodating requests,” said Dr. Naveena Bobba, deputy director of health for the department, during a news briefing. “We have gotten a few requests based on patients talking to their physicians and that’s why we are allowing for the accommodation.”
Doses will be available at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
The city’s health department aligns with the US the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which does not currently recommend a booster shot for anyone, including J&J vaccine recipients, Bobba said.
With the Delta coronavirus driving a surge in Covid-19 cases, there is conflicting information about the effectiveness of the J&J vaccine against the strain. Some people are hoping to boost their immunity by supplementing their J&J shot with an mRNA vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.Johnson & Johnson said in early July that data shows its vaccine provides immunity that lasts at least eight months, and it appears to provide adequate protection against the worrying Delta variant. A test-tube study later that month, which has not been peer reviewed, suggested that people who got the single-dose vaccine might benefit from a booster dose. The study found that being fully vaccinated with one of the mRNA vaccines provides people with a strong and broad response.
Bobba said the supplemental vaccinations will be recorded the same way all Covid-19 vaccinations are.
“These get entered into the system, just like other doses have as well, and the patients that have gotten them will be followed, just as others (who) have gotten the vaccines throughout the country have continued to be followed,” Bobba said.
Each vaccine site in the city will choose how to proceed with the accommodation, but “the expectation is that they have had a discussion with a health care provider when they come in,” Bobba said.
The mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna require two doses for full immunization.