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Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID booster shots now available in Riverside County

All residents in Riverside County who are eligible for their COVID-19 booster shot can get it starting Tuesday, following federal and state approval.

Jose Arballo, from the Riverside University Health System, said Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered free of charge at the Indio Family Care Center, which is one of four fixed locations throughout the county.

County locations are some of the locations, in addition to partner sites that offer vaccine clinics, where Coachella Valley residents can access vaccinations.

Pfizer vaccine booster shots were made available to eligible Riverside County residents in late September.

Arballo said health officials are "looking forward to giving the boosters to as many people as possible, and also encouraging people that might have been waiting to come in and get their first dose."

Riverside County also has four mobile teams that will offer vaccines in different communities at different times, which Arballo said "are generally in neighborhoods that are hard to reach or have asked specifically for a vaccine clinic at their location."

Arballo said more than 90,000 Riverside County residents have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far.

He added "first-time doses have been leveling off and increasing at times", but the county is hoping the booster shot campaign will encourage anyone who hasn't been vaccinated, to do so.

Determining when a recipient is eligible for their booster dose depends on what vaccine they initially received.

Those eligible for the Johnson & Johnson booster include:
-- People 18 years and older
-- People who are two months or more from receipt of their first dose.

Those eligible for the Moderna booster include:
-- People 65 years and older and residents in long - term care settings.
-- People aged 18-64 years with underlying medical conditions.
-- People 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID -19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings.
--People who are six months or more from receipt of their second dose

However, federal health officials have authorized mixing and matching of vaccine doses.

Anyone interested in getting more information about where to get COVID-19 vaccines, including booster shots, can visit https://www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine.

Arballo noted that not all three vaccines are available at every location in Riverside County, which some local healthcare workers have noted should be kept in mind when scheduling an appointment or walking into a clinic.

Stay with News Channel 3 for more updates on Riverside County's COVID vaccination efforts and how local communities are responding.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3

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