LACMA Public Health Council

Weekly hospitalization rates from COVID-19 have recently increased for children ages 11 years and younger. Hospitalization rates among children and adolescents are at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic. These increases come as many schools across the country have returned to in-person learning. Masks are important for reducing the spread of COVID-19 among children in K–12 school settings. To keep kids safe, CDC recommends masks for all students, teachers, and staff while indoors, along with COVID-19 vaccination and testing, and physical distancing. Read more about this in the COVID Data Tracker.

Over the past 8 months, Los Angeles County has distributed more than 12 million doses of vaccine but infections amongst children remain a concern. Los Angeles Department of Public Health is focused on getting children vaccinated and launching a weekly dialogue with pediatric and family medicine providers to discuss questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine including storage/handling, onboarding processes, funding grants, best practices in administering vaccines and answer any questions or concerns. These sessions will be informal with leadership representation from the local chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Department of Public Health. LACMA’s Public Health Council is sharing the information with various networks, pediatric practices and other community based organizations. To join the first call scheduled for today, click here.

Meanwhile, California estimated earlier this month that it would need to administer an extra 63 million doses by the end of 2022 — if initial shots for children younger than 12 were approved and boosters were open to everyone.

U.S. health officials late last week endorsed booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for all Americans 65 and older — along with tens of millions of younger people who are at higher risk from the coronavirus because of health conditions or their jobs.

California, with nearly 40 million residents, has the lowest transmission rate of any state and nearly 70% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. That leaves nearly 12 million people not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health secretary, said the state will rely largely on pharmacies and primary care providers to give boosters to seniors while some large counties and healthcare groups will use mass vaccination sites.

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