L.A. To Offer Kids Under 5 COVID Vaccine Following Authorization

L.A. County plans to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to kids under 5 years old as soon as this week, after the FDA announced emergency use authorization for the age group Friday.

Director of L.A. Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, said the county may begin offering the vaccine to children as young as 6 months old, as soon as Tuesday, June 21.

On Saturday, June 18, the CDC co-signed the FDA’s authorization, with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky calling the authorization an “important step forward.”

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” Walensky said in a statement. “I encourage parents and caregivers with questions to talk to their doctor, nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and the importance of protecting their children by getting them vaccinated.”

The FDA’s authorization now means all age groups may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to 6 months of age,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. said. “Those trusted with the care of children can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these COVID-19 vaccines and can be assured that the agency was thorough in its evaluation of the data.”

L.A. County remains at a “medium” rate of COVID-19 community transmission and is “relatively stable,” when measured with the CDC’s standard per 100,000 people.

If COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase, public health projects the county reaching a “high” level of community transmission by June 29, possibly triggering the return of indoor mask mandates.

“Should there be a change in the rate of increase of hospital admissions, the date could be earlier, or the date could be later,” Ferrer said.

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