Children 5-11 Years-Old Are Now Eligible for Safe, Effective COVID-19 Vaccine
Last week, the CDC recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be safely administered to children to prevent severe illness and death. The vaccine was shown to have a 90.9 percent efficacy rate in clinical trials among this age group. Vaccination clinics and health care providers in Alameda County have made great progress in vaccinating our children and youth; over 75 percent of children 12-15 and over 78 percent of youth 16-17 are fully vaccinated.
Over 17,000 residents under age 18 have contracted the virus that causes COVID-19 and, while cases and hospitalizations have decreased, we continue to see a higher case rate among unvaccinated residents as compared to vaccinated residents.
As COVID-19 continues to circulate in Alameda County, we are likely to see cases increase in winter. Getting vaccinated continues to be the best protection against the worst outcomes from COVID and we strongly urge parents and guardians to have their newly eligible children vaccinated as soon as possible.
“With each new population that becomes eligible for vaccination, we move one step closer to ending the COVID pandemic,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss. “Now is the time to get yourself and your children vaccinated as we approach winter and the holidays when we expect to see an increase in cases.”
The CDC and Alameda County also recommend flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age. Including flu and COVID vaccines as part of preparation for the holidays is especially important if planning to gather with older adults or other medically vulnerable family members and friends. Alameda County education and outreach is already underway with school and pediatric provider partners, and youth-serving organizations, ensuring children can access vaccine as quickly as possible.
In partnership with school districts and the County Office of Education, vaccination clinics will be available on some school sites. We continue to improve access to vaccine whenever possible and meet eligible children and their families where they are, especially in our priority neighborhoods where COVID-19 has hit hardest.
Alameda County is prioritizing nine school districts with the lowest vaccination rates for stable clinics and the Alameda County Public Health Department will continue to support schools in census tracts with the lowest vaccination rates with pop-up clinics. More details about school-based vaccine clinics will soon be announced in the next few weeks. Written consent of a parent or guardian will be required at the time of appointment registration and the physical presence of a parent, guardian, or caregiver at time of vaccination is required.