The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus infections in San Diego County fell by four to 222, according to the latest state data out Saturday.
Of those patients, 22 were being treated in intensive care, an increase of two from Friday’s total. Available hospital beds increased by four to 240.
Meanwhile, a panel of advisors of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously approved giving COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as 6 months old on Saturday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the decision later in the day.
“We have been preparing for this moment,” President Joe Biden tweeted. “Our Administration has already secured vaccine doses for America’s youngest and are now launching a comprehensive effort with states, local health departments, America’s pediatricians, family doctors, and more to help get shots into arms.”
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, according to local public health officials.
“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 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 will be given in much smaller doses, a statement from the county read. The Pfizer vaccine will be given in three shots, each containing one-tenth of an adult dose. The first two doses will be given three weeks apart and the final shot at least three months later.
The Moderna vaccine, which currently is only available for adults, will be available for 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 years old 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 its cumulative totals to 813,035 infections and 5,318 deaths.
The county only reports COVID-19 data on Mondays and Thursdays.
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%
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.
Updated at 2:10 p.m. June 18, 2022
–City News Service