Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vials setup for vaccinating children ages 5-11 at Katherine R. Smith Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 4, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

California health officials aren’t wasting time expanding Pfizer COVID-19 booster access to 16- and 17-year-olds after the shot was authorized on Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

This age group can receive a booster at least six months after the completion of their primary Pfizer vaccination. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only authorized and recommended booster for this age group. Mixing and matching vaccines and boosters is not encouraged for adolescents.

Following Thursday’s FDA/CDC approval, the first Santa Clara County booster for this eligible age group was given that same day.

“It is important that we continue to take preventative measures, such as testing, universal masking, vaccinations, and boosters to keep our students, teachers, and staff safe,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools. “Those eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination and booster are encouraged to get them as soon as possible.”

Vaccinations in Santa Clara County are available for people ages 5 and up and boosters are available for ages 16 and up. Information about vaccinations, boosters, and upcoming clinics can be found at www.sccfreevax.org​.

State officials said their vaccine information site, MyTurn.ca.gov, is currently being updated to reflect the expanded eligibility. Parents and guardians are encouraged to check with their health care provider to schedule their booster appointment.

For the latest information on the Omicron variant go to CDPH.ca.gov, which also lists COVID-19 testing sites, call (833) 422-4255 or visit your local county public health website.