COVID-19 Fatigue: California County Health Departments Push For More Under-17 Vaccinations With New Variant

COVID-19 transmission statistics from late June to early July revealed that California is seeing a similar summer increase in cases similar to what it experienced in 2020 and 2021.

On July 4, 2022, the seven-day average of new daily cases was 19,028 statewide. In 2021, this figure stood at 7,709 and 2020 at 7,805. While the daily was higher, the 2022 figure has a much lower fatality rate, with 2022 only having an average fatality rate of 39 per day compared to Independence Day 2020 when it was 65 statewide. The July rates are also much lower in the general rates of new cases and deaths from the winters of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

While newer variants, such as Omicron BA.2.12, have been were found to be more transmissible, symptoms were found to be milder with significantly fewer deaths. But despite the COVID-19 virus generally now following the path of the Spanish flu 100 years ago and gradually becoming more endemicseveral county health departments across the state are pushing for young children to get vaccinated as soon as possible due to numerous recent outbreaks in places with people 17 and under, as well as preparations to return to school next month.

“With the recent spike in cases and the end of the school year, LA County is now seeing outbreaks in camps, youth programs and daycares as many are open for the summer,” the official said. LA County Public Health Department in a Tuesday press release. “During the month of June, there were four new outbreaks in non-K12 day camps/programs or school-age child care centers and two new outbreaks in overnight camps.”

“Since vaccinations offer the best protection against serious illnesses and MIS-C, parents are urged to ensure that they and their children are up to date on their vaccinations and boosters, when eligible. . Since eligibility was extended to children under 5, 7,642 doses have been administered through June 30. »

“The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are available for children 6 months to 17 years old. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses, given four to eight weeks apart for children 6 months to 17 years old. Boosters for the Moderna vaccine are not currently recommended. The Pfizer vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years requires three doses, with three to eight weeks between the first and second dose, and at least eight weeks between the second and third dose. Pfizer vaccine boosters are not currently recommended for children 6 months to 4 years of age.

California COVID-19 Vaccinations

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer (Photo: LA County.gov)

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also noted the change in variants, including possible further increases due to BA.4 and BA.5 likely to come to California soon, noting Tuesday that “More early in the pandemic, it seemed like every few months we heard about a potential new variant of concern.

“But more recently, a few weeks after one variant of concern has become dominant, there are reports from other parts of the country or other parts of the world of other subtypes or different strains, and that’s been particularly true with Omicron. When people ask why public health remains cautious, it’s because every time there’s a new, more infectious or potentially more infectious variant, it means it can spread more easily. You need to pay close attention to those who are most vulnerable in our communities. And here in LA County, that’s millions of people. It’s not just a small number.”

Although there is an urgent need to increase vaccinations, with the statewide percentage now at 84% with at least one dosenew cases and deaths have plateaued in recent weeks, signaling a possible slowdown in the coming weeks. For many, the new calls for vaccinations have only added to pandemic fatigue in the state.

“People just don’t want to hear about COVID-19 anymore,” LA healthcare worker Miguel Santos told The Globe on Tuesday. “It’s been going on for two, two and a half years now and everyone is so fed up. Only if it’s a requirement or people really care does it still happen. That, and when people take tests, especially for international travel. »

“It’s really not optimal where we are, because, you know, we’re doctors and nurses and others who don’t want harm to come to you or others. But everyone wants things back to normal now, and for many that’s just ignoring all of COVID, or at most wearing a mask in public or where they have to. That’s it. Hand sanitizer, staying indoors, everything, it’s not a thing. We just had a string of box office records, stadiums are filling up again, and so many people are flying that it’s crashing our system and driving up gas prices. We have to keep an eye on this, but everyone just wants it to be over. »

More COVID-19 announcements are expected later this year, with new outbreaks and variants likely to occur in California.

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