Gov. Gain Newsom receives a Moderna booster does from Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

Gov. Gain Newsom received a booster dose of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 on Wednesday and urged all Californians to follow his lead.

“It’s imperative that we all keep our immunities strong in preparation for the winter cold, flu and now COVID season, especially for those at increased risk,” said Newsom, who received his shot at an Asian Health Services clinic in Oakland’s Chinatown .

“Getting vaccinated and keeping our immunity strong through boosters is a vital step we can take to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community — it remains the best way to end this pandemic. Getting a booster is safe, easy, free, and you don’t even have to stick to your original vaccine,” he said.

Newsom received his initial single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in April 2021 when his age group became eligible. He chose a Moderna booster under the CDC’s “mix and match” guidance.

Nearly two million Californians have received a booster dose. The Golden State has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, and the highest among the large states, with nearly 87% of the 12-and-over population having received at least one dose. 

Meanwhile, public health officials are making plans to vaccinate California’s 3.5 million children aged 5 to 11, who could be cleared to receive the Pfizer vaccine by the end of next week.

The state expects to receive 1.2 million kid-sized doses in the next few days, and thousands of providers and schools are preparing to administer them.

“We have around 4,000 sites that are ready to administer and over 1,000 providers across the state enrolled to vaccinate,” Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s epidemiologist told CNBC.

CalMatters contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.