COVID-19 vaccine
A nurse prepares a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in California. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

San Diego County public health officials are awaiting word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Western States committee on approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer’s for children ages 6 months to 4 years.

If that does happen in the coming days, San Diego County children in those age groups will be able to get vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office, community clinics and some retail pharmacies.

“While children have not been as susceptible to COVID-19, it’s important that they, too, are vaccinated to keep them from getting sick and passing the virus to others,” said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. “Some parents have been eagerly anticipating the COVID vaccine for their younger kids. They should make an appointment to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The vaccines for children this age would be given in much smaller doses, a statement from the county read. The Pfizer vaccine would be given in three shots, each containing one-tenth of an adult dose. The first two doses would be given three weeks apart and the final shot at least three months later.

The Moderna vaccine, which currently is only available for adults, is also likely to be approved, county health officials said, for two more age groups: children between 6 and 17 years of age and those under 6. The Moderna shot for kids under 6 is a two-dose series, given about four weeks apart. Each dose contains one quarter of the adult dose.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna shots for kids under 6 are given with smaller needles and, most times, it is administered in the leg. Everyone 5 years and older can get a vaccine and boosters at no cost. Parental consent is required for all eligible minors to be vaccinated.

The county reported 1,773 new COVID-19 infections and two deaths on Thursday, increasing the county’s cumulative totals to 813,035 infections and 5,318 deaths.

A total of 9,672 cases were reported in the past week, compared to 10,370 infections the previous week. San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 42.13 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 25.06 for fully vaccinated people and 75.59 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases, among tests reported through June 11, is 10.7%

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in county hospitals increased by 14 to 226 on Friday, while the number of patients in intensive care units remained steady at 20.

More than 2.97 million or 94.4% of San Diegans age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated. More than 2.63 million of that age cohort, or 83.6%, are fully vaccinated. There have been 1,358,992 boosters administered, or 58.7% of 2,316,581 eligible San Diegans.

–City News Service



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Ellen Bullock