Getting the Updated Fall COVID-19 Booster Critical for Older Vulnerable Residents

1,336 New Positive Cases and 11 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

County residents who are older than 65 face the greatest risk of serious illness from COVID-19, yet very few have received the new updated Fall COVID-19 booster that offers protection against more recent variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The updated Fall boosters from Pfizer and Moderna are bivalent vaccines, meaning they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the more recently spreading Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. Although the two subvariants are different, they have the same spike protein, and the new Fall booster offers protection against both.

It is important for all residents to get the updated Fall booster because immunity from both earlier vaccinations and/or a previous COVID-19 infection wanes over time. The virus has mutated significantly over the past two and a half years, and the new strains can evade some of the protection from earlier vaccinations or previous infections.

As of September 2, about 126,000 seniors have received the updated Fall booster, which is just 10% of the more than 1.2 million Los Angeles County residents 65 and older.

There are 1,046 vaccination sites across the county offering the updated Fall booster. Seniors and residents who can’t easily leave their home can contact Public Health telehealth services at (833) 540-0473, seven days a week, from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm to arrange for at-home Fall booster and primary series vaccinations or transportation to a vaccination center. Insurance is not required, and callers can be assisted in multiple languages.

If seniors do test positive for COVID-19, they can contact telehealth services or promptly call their doctor to see if they qualify for medication to treat COVID-19. Older residents who are at elevated risk for severe illness may be able to receive treatment that include the oral medications, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, or injectable medications, such as Bebtelovimab or Remdesivir.

Overall, the county does continue to report improved COVID-19 case and death metrics. The 7-day average case count in the county is 1,138, a 12% decline from one week ago when the 7-day average of 1,291 cases was reported.

Over the past seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in LA County hospitals remains stable from one week ago when the average number of daily COVID-positive patients per day was about 500.

Deaths, which typically lag hospitalizations by several weeks, have remained at about 11 deaths reported each day this past week.

The Omicron variant still accounts for 100% of Los Angeles County sequenced specimens, and the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron remains the predominant subvariant, making up nearly 90% of cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, for the week ending October 1, 90% of specimens in Region 9, which includes California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean, were BA.5. For the U.S. overall, the CDC estimates that 81% of specimens were BA.5 reflecting the increases in other parts of the country.

This past week, there were county increases in a few of the sublineages that Public Health has been monitoring: BA.4.6 increased from about 3% last week to 5% this week. BA.2.75 now accounts for 1% of specimens with 42 specimens to date, an increase from 30 specimens last week. There are also three LA County specimens of BA.2.75.2, which Public Health will continue to watch closely, since this sublineage has been spreading in parts of Asia and Europe and may both evade prior protections and not respond to some currently available treatments.

Two weeks ago, Public Health began tracking a new subvariant, called BF.7, a sublineage of BA.5 also referred to as BA. So far, 50 sequenced specimens in LA County have been determined to be from BF.7, now accounting for 1.4% of sequenced samples. While Public Health noted the small increase in three of the sublineages that are being tracked because of their immune-evading properties, the new sublineages currently circulating are increasing slowly and not yet crowding out BA.5.

Lastly, in Europe, as of September 30, it’s estimated that of the variants of concern, BA.4/BA.5 accounted for more than 98% of cases across 13 countries, just under 1% of cases was estimated to be BA.2, and .8% was detected as BA.2.75.

“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “For so many of us who are already fully vaccinated and boosted with one or more doses, it may be confusing to hear that we need another booster. While the original vaccines do continue to provide significant protection against severe illness and death, it is important to know that these early vaccines may provide less protection against the transmission of the virus. For the county’s vulnerable residents who are 65 and older, it is especially important to get the new, updated Fall booster. Keeping older and more vulnerable residents safe also means testing before gathering indoors and staying away if we are sick. With the cooler weather and Fall holidays, many more of us will be staying indoors, gathering with others, or traveling, so it is still practical to follow all health safety measures.”

Today, Public Health reported 11 additional deaths and 1,336 new positive cases. Of the 11 new deaths reported today, two people were between the ages of 50-64, four people were between the ages of 65-79, and five people were aged 80 years or older.  Of the 11 newly reported deaths, all had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 33,740.

Public Health has reported a total of 3,464,157 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 4.6%.

There are 500 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 12,582,282 individuals, with 24% of people testing positive.

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at including:

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

For more information:


Total Cases

Laboratory Confirmed Cases


— Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas)


— Long Beach


— Pasadena




— Los Angeles County (excl. LB and Pas)


— Long Beach


— Pasadena


Age Group (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

– 0 to 4


– 5 to 11


– 12 to 17


– 18 to 29


– 30 to 49


– 50 to 64


– 65 to 79


–  over 80


–  Under Investigation


Gender (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  Female


–  Male


–  Other


–  Under Investigation


Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  American Indian/Alaska Native


–  Asian


–  Black


–  Hispanic/Latino


–  Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander


–  White


–  Other


–  Under Investigation


Hospitalization (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  Hospitalized (Ever)


Deaths Race/Ethnicity (Los Angeles County Cases Only-excl LB and Pas)

–  American Indian/Alaska Native


–  Asian


–  Black


–  Hispanic/Latino


–  Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander


–  White


–  Other


–  Under Investigation