California making plans to give COVID-19 boosters for eligible groups

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- California is preparing to administer third "booster" vaccine shots against COVID-19 for older people and immunocompromised adults as well as initial shots for students under 12 once the federal government approves them for children.

California on Thursday released a multi-step plan aimed at increasing vaccinations.

The plan focuses at prioritizing those hesitant to get vaccinated, children ages 5 through 11 when they become eligible and people eligible to get booster shots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots to people 65 and older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19.

Roughly 6.5 million Californians over 65 have been fully vaccinated.

As for a statewide mandate that students old enough to be vaccinated get the shots for in-person learning, Gov. Gavin Newsom said a decision is coming soon.

"I'm worried about a winter surge. It's now back on the table to get our kids vaccinated, 12 to 17," Newsom said. "We're not seeing the numbers we're seeing for other age cohorts. The decision will be made over the course of the next few days."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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