vaccinating children
A child receives a COVID-19 vaccine. Photo via @CTMirror Twitter

San Diego County reported 499 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional virus-related deaths on Wednesday, bringing the county’s cumulative totals to 372,709 cases and 4,241 fatalities since the pandemic began.

There were 292 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Wednesday, an increase of 11 from Tuesday, according to the latest state figures. Of these, 86 people were in intensive care, up from 80 the previous day.

A total of 17,853 new tests were reported to the county on Wednesday, and the percentage of new positive cases over the past week was 3.2%, according to the county health department.

The number of county residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is now nearly 2.55 million — or 90.9% of residents 12 and older. More than 2.31 million, or 82.4% of that cohort, are fully vaccinated.

Following the California Department of Public Health’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in 5-to 11-year-olds earlier this week, San Diego County health care providers Wednesday began vaccinating children in that age group.

Currently, only Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for children aged 5 to 17. The county Health and Human Services Agency recommends parents take their children ages 5 to 11 to their primary doctor. However, the majority of county-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites also carry the Pfizer vaccine, as do many pharmacies, clinics and other medical providers. Parents can also visit or call the hotline at 833-422-4255 beginning Thursday to find a nearby vaccination site.

City News Service contributed to this report.