Vaccinating young teens seen as vital to crushing COVID in California

California
Simon Huizar, 13, receives a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles. The campaign to immunize America's 17 million adolescents aged 12 to 15 kicked off in full force on May 13. The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles is working to overcome vaccine hesitancy and expand access in high risk communities with community vaccine clinics in the area. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Simon Huizar, 13, receives a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles. The campaign to immunize America’s 17 million adolescents aged 12 to 15 kicked off in full force on May 13. The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles is working to overcome vaccine hesitancy and expand access in high risk communities with community vaccine clinics in the area.
(PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

When L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced last week that the county could obtain herd immunity among adults and the oldest teenagers as soon as July, it marked an incredible milestone for a region once positioned as an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the remarks also raised questions about what role, if any, young people will play in achieving that goal. Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in California late last week.

The county has already administered more than 9 million vaccine doses, with roughly 2 million first doses to go before 80% of all residents 16 and older will have received at least one shot, Ferrer said, adding, “At the rate we’re going, we expect that we can reach this level somewhere in mid- to late July, and that assumes that we continue to have at least 400,000 people vaccinated each week.”

Some experts said she may have been on to something — but only if all adults do their part.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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