Vaccine COVID children
Spraya Yamini, 10, holds her father Afshin’s hand as she receives the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at Rady’s Children’s hospital in San Diego in 2021. Children may soon be eligible to receive booster shots. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 1,579 new COVID-19 infections Thursday, the highest number of daily cases since early February.

The latest case count reflects a larger trend, officials said, as infections continue to increase.

The agency reported a total of 7,008 cases during the past week, compared to 4,996 the previous week, a 40% increase.

Officials also warned, that with the proliferation of at-home tests, the actual number of COVID infections is likely considerably higher.

In addition, the agency reported five deaths Thursday, increasing the county’s two-year total to 775,369 infections and 5,282 deaths.

On the vaccine front, pending approval from the Western States workgroup, booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine may soon be available for children ages 5 through 11, the county announced on Thursday.

COVID-19 Pfizer boosters should be given five months after the final dose of the primary vaccine series, they said.

“Some parents have been anxiously waiting to give their children extra protection against COVID-19 and the shots may be finally approved,” said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, San Diego County’s Public Health Officer. “COVID-19 boosters for everyone who is eligible are easy to get because we have plenty of vaccine available in the region.”

Additionally, Omicron variants have been making more San Diego children sick, the county reported, with some requiring hospitalization and others developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C.

From Nov. 27, 2021 to May 7, 2022, 90% of the pediatric hospitalizations for the syndrome occurred in children who had not been fully vaccinated.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 98 MIS-C cases in the county. Of those, 53% have been reported in children ages five to 11.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “MIS-C is a rare, but serious, post-infectious hyper-inflammatory condition occurring about two to six weeks after infection.”

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county increased by 14 to 134, with 24 were being treated in intensive care. The number of available hospital beds stood at 219.

The county shifted earlier this month to reporting COVID-19 data only on Mondays and Thursdays.

– City News Service