For the first time, Los Angeles County officials on Wednesday announced an immunization schedule for students under the age of 18. Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said that while all teachers and school staff in the region are currently eligible for vaccines, on May 1 all students aged 16 and over will become qualified. See the penultimate point below of Ferrer’s presentation.
Covid-19 numbers have dropped dramatically over the past month and, spurred on by California Governor Gavin Newsom, the state has reopened at a rapid pace. Theaters removed locks from their doors this week. Likewise, indoor meals in restaurants are now permitted. Theme parks can reopen from April 1, although Disneyland will wait until April 30. Sadly, amid that progress, Ferrer announced on Wednesday that the county had identified the second person under the age of 18 to succumb to Covid-19.
LAUSD high schools could reopen at the end of April pending the union pact; NYC sets March 22 date
The stream LAUSD plan is for preschool education centers and elementary schools to reopen
half April. Middle and high schools will resume at the end of April. These dates
come with the warning that they “could change based on changes in levels of the virus in the coming weeks,” according to the district. Students aged 16 and over are just the latest group added to the list of eligible or soon.
Gov. Gavin Newsom this week expanded vaccine eligibility to people between the ages of 16 and 65 who have an underlying health condition. The group includes 4.4 million Californians.
Ferrer said on Wednesday that eligibility had also been expanded to include janitorial officers, transit workers and airport ground workers, as well as social workers who deal with cases of violence and abuse and foster parents providing emergency housing for young people.
This is after about 1.7 million essential workers, including teachers, became eligible for vaccines last week. Healthcare workers and residents aged 65 and over were already eligible. Of this cohort aged 65 and over in Los Angeles, Ferrer estimates that only 61% received a first dose.
The millions of Californians newly eligible for the vaccine may find doses difficult to find. LA County received its largest vaccine allocation yet last week, according to Ferrer. He administered 312,000 doses. But the region expects to administer only around 260k doses this week due to supply issues. This, as well as millions of additional residents are eligible.
But in early April, officials expect doses to increase as new J&J vaccines finally arrive.
School outbreaks have been relatively rare in Los Angeles County. There have been 86 outbreaks affiliated with K-12 schools since September 1, 2020. Two of the outbreaks had more than 12 cases and 66 of the outbreaks had less than 6 cases. Outbreaks in schools increased during the outbreak and declined steadily from January, after outbreaks in schools peaked at 15 for 2 consecutive weeks. Since the beginning of February, there has been no new outbreak in schools.
As health officials in the largest county in California today announced the new eligibility for students 16 and older, the state “Updated vaccination guidelines», Which have not been updated for over a month, make no mention of vaccinations for high school students. The fidgetcube awaits a response to the query sent to the California Department of Public Health on the matter.
Last week, Newsom and Ferrer each referred to a green level in the color-coded state reopening plan. Nicknamed the Blueprint for a more secure economy, the plan assesses the prevalence of Covid-19 in a region ranging from “generalized” or purple to “minimal” or yellow. There are no details yet on what a green level might look like or if it would include healthy teens.
But the CDC, which state and county health directors – including Ferrer, who referenced its guidelines in another context on Wednesday – are generally following, gives guidance for adolescents in its “Provisional recommendation»Posted in January. It reads: “Phase 2 includes all other people 16 years of age or older not already recommended for vaccination in phases 1a, 1b or 1c. Currently, in accordance with the recommended age and conditions of use (1), any licensed COVID-19 vaccine can be used. ACIP is closely monitoring clinical trials in children and adolescents and will review recommendations for use when a Covid-19 vaccine is approved for people under the age of 16. “