The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster vaccine for seniors ages 65 and older and immunocompromised people. San Bernardino County began dispensing the boosters on Monday, Sept. 26.

People who are eligible are encouraged to make an appointment by visiting or contacting their local pharmacy or health-care provider. According to the county, there is high demand, and walk-in vaccination service could be limited, so appointments are recommended.

The FDA authorization only applies to those who received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine six months ago or more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend mixing brands of the vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine has only been authorized as a third dose for people who are severely immunocompromised. A booster vaccine has not yet been authorized for those who took the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 28, the county recorded 342,782 total cases, up 1,793 from last week's 340,989. The county recorded 333,947 total recoveries, 2,244 more than the previous week. A total of 5,107 deaths have been recorded, up 67 from last week. The case fatality rate remained at 1.5%.

The 402 hospital patients are down 33 from the previous week’s 435. The county recorded 136 positive ICU patients, up four from the previous week. ICU availability dropped from 34.2% to 31.9%.

According to Johns Hopkins University, San Bernardino County rose from 10th to ninth in total COVID-19 cases out of the country’s 3,143 counties. Riverside County rose from ninth to seventh with 357,988 cases. Los Angeles County has the most with over 1 million cases.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2 million vaccine doses have been administered to county residents. Over 1 million county residents have been partially or fully vaccinated, which is 63.7% of the population over the age of 12.

  • Redlands numbers

As of Tuesday, Sept. 28, Redlands recorded 10,318 total cases, five more than the previous week's 10,313. Redlands’ total death count rose from 239 to 240. During the week of Sept. 5, the city had 93 new cases and a test positivity rate of 3.4%. The previous week, Redlands had 129 new cases and a test positivity rate of 5.1%.

  • Vaccination rate hits 76.3%

Redlands is among the cities with the most people vaccinated. A total of 47,417 residents have received a vaccination. According to the county, there are 62,131 Redlands residents 12 and older. Redlands has vaccinated 76.3% of these residents.