Children 6 months to 5 years old are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Efforts to distribute the vaccine to children in San Joaquin County are already underway with a vaccination event being held on Saturday, June 25.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for children 6 months to 5 years old by the US Food and Drug Administration on June 17.
San Joaquin County public health officer Dr. Maggie Park told the oversight board Tuesday that rates of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, but appear to be leveling off.
According to Park, COVID-19 case rates rose from 22 per 100,000 on May 23 to 33 per 100,000 on June 20.
Park said the latest Omicron variants, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5, are all highly transmissible and are likely the cause of the increased case rates.
“While we all want COVID-19 to be a thing of the past, these highly contagious variants continue to mutate, resulting in continued transmission and hospitalization,” Park said. “The good news is that if people continue to get COVID-19, their risk of hospitalization and death has gone down significantly with vaccinations and booster shots.”
Park said more than 13 million children in the United States have contracted COVID-19 and it is among the top five causes of death for that age group.
What parents need to know
The vaccination sites listed below do not require an appointment, health insurance or payment. COVID-19 vaccines, including their administration, are free to the public. However, vaccinators must obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian before vaccinating a minor. Pharmacies are not authorized to vaccinate children 2 years and under.
COVID-19 vaccination sites in SJ with injections available for children under 5
San Joaquin County WIC Program Pediatric Immunization Event
- Where: 620 N. Aurora St. Stockton, CA 95202
- When: Saturday June 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Available: COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months to 4 years, primary doses and booster doses also available for children 5 years or older and adolescents/adults 12 years or older
- For more information: sjready.gov
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are also available by appointment at select CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens pharmacies. More information on vaccination sites can be found at sjready.org.
This story will be updated as more pediatric doses of the vaccine become available locally.
Record reporter Hannah Workman covers the news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @byhannahworkman. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.