Despite a large number of breakthrough cases of local vaccines – Lopez said the rate was above 30% for the second week in a row – there are no plans to expand the eligibility for the injections.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration recommends Pfizer and Moderna booster shots after 6 months for anyone age 65 and older and for people age 18 and older who are at high risk because of job, health, or residential status, and booster shots after 2 months for anyone 18 years and older who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, some states and cities have chosen to make all adults eligible.
Lopez said the health department has discussed the matter but is awaiting further guidance from the FDA and has no plans to offer boosters to others unless the agency recommends it.
Lancaster County remains the only county or city in the state with a mask mandate, and it looks like it will be renewed. It is scheduled to expire next week, and while Lopez didn’t specifically say it will be renewed, she hinted that it likely is.
“If we look at where we are and where our entire state is, that tells a story,” she said, noting that the mandate will be discussed at the briefing next week.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird did not speak at the briefing Tuesday, but she told local radio host Jack Mitchell Tuesday morning that the best way to get rid of the mask mandate sooner rather than later is to get more people vaccinated.