In June, the CDC recommended children six months and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, an additional 20 million children are eligible.
San Luis Obispo pediatrician, Dr. Rene Bravo, told KSBY, “There wasn't a great rush. There hasn't been a great rush to vaccinate quite yet. But parents are starting to call and make appointments. And so we're starting to vaccinate for sure.”
Bravo noted that hesitancy is normal with a new vaccine and advises people to always talk to their doctor and asks questions.
San Luis Obispo County could not provide numbers on how many children in the latest age group have been vaccinated thus far. Data from Santa Barbara County Public Health shows less than 1% of children in the county under 5 have been vaccinated to date.
“We're seeing a significant decrease in the virulence and complication rates, not only in children but the general population. What this means, though, for vaccination, it doesn't mean that we're too let up on vaccination because we still there are still vulnerable people out there,” said Dr. Bravo.
The Omicron variant is the dominant strain in the region, while the subvariant BA.2.12.1 continues to be the most common with BA.5 and BA.4 coming in second and third.
Dr. Bravo said he sees cases in children beginning to level out after an increase last month.
“We're seeing a significant decrease in the virulence and complication rates, not only in children, but the general population. What this means, though, for vaccination, it doesn't mean that we're too let up on vaccination because there are still vulnerable people out there.”
Bravo added that children who do catch the virus tend to recover without much consequence, but does recommend that everyone receive the vaccine.