Los Angeles County officials could start offering COVID-19 vaccinations to children as early as tomorrow. This is because federal officials have approved the vaccines for children below age 5.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the giving of COVID-19 vaccinations to children as young at 6 months on Saturday. Later in the day, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, signed off on this decision.
The approval is valid for vaccines manufactured at Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech.
“We have been preparing for this moment,” President Joe Biden tweeted. “Our Administration has already secured vaccine doses for America’s youngest and are now launching a comprehensive effort with states, local health departments, America’s pediatricians, family doctors, and more to help get shots into arms.”
While young children are less likely to become seriously ill or die from COVID, county health officials stated that they have higher rates among unvaccinated children. They claim that children who are not vaccinated are more likely to develop Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder in Children (MISC).
The county found that children between the ages of 12 and 17 who were not vaccinated were almost four times more likely than those who had been vaccinated to have COVID hospitalizations in the last three months. Officials said that 65% of the vaccine-eligible children who had confirmed cases of MISC were not vaccinated.
“As we have seen with adults, children can experience short and long-term health problems from COVID-19,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Vaccinations are a proven safety measure that protects your entire family, including now your youngest children, from severe illness and death from COVID. The development and approval of the vaccines for children under age 5 have gone through a rigorous evaluation and approval process as with all other routine childhood vaccines.”
“As we make plans to gather with family and to enjoy the summer and upcoming holidays, now is the time to make sure that all our children are fully vaccinated. Immunized children and adults provide an important layer of protection to the community, particularly in light of the proliferation of highly infectious variants.
According to the latest state data, the number COVID positive patients in county hospitals increased 27 more people to 639. On Friday, there were 69 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals. This is down from Friday’s 69.
Friday’s report by the county included another 5,122 COVID infection, bringing the total number of cases to 3,057,000.004. A further five deaths due to virus-related causes were also reported. This brings the death toll at 32,250.
9.3% was the average daily rate at which people tested positive for the virus. Ferrer stated that the percentage of people testing positive for the virus is likely to increase as schools close and the number of tests per day decreases.
Weekend COVID data are not reported by the county.