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SLO County Health officials urging parents to get eligible children vaccinated and boosted

 SLO County Health officials urging parents to get eligible children vaccinated and boosted
According to county numbers, 50% of eligible kids 12 through 17 are fully vaccinated but among children 5 to 11 it is only 18%.
Posted at 7:20 AM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 10:20:15-05

COVID-19 is knocking at the doors of local residents.

“Last week, it was my whole family, my children who had it. The beginning of this week, we found out it was my mom,” said Elena Gallegos, who took her grandson to get vaccinated at a mobile site at Fairgrove Elementary School in Grover Beach.

Including young Christopher Rodriguez who got in line for his second dose with his grandmother.

“You never know if you have COVID, so we might need the shot,” said Rodriguez.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department reports 1,945 cases in the last seven days across the county regardless of age.

A surge that local pediatricians are also seeing.

“I would say the number of COVID cases doubled over the last month,” said Dr. René Bravo, who is a pediatrician at Tenet Health Central Coast and Bravo Pediatrics.

According to county numbers, 50% of eligible kids 12 through 17 years old are fully vaccinated but among children five to 11, it is only 18%.

“It is very important to get vaccinated that we know has some effect, is it 100% effective? No, it’s not, we see some breakthroughs, but it is better than not getting it because if you have no protection at all, it can wreak some havoc in your immune system,” explained Dr. Bravo.

As the Omicron variant spreads, experts recommend getting that Pfizer booster for eligible teenagers.

“The 12 to 17 age group once they have received their two vaccines, the boosters are indicated five months after that and that helps to maintain the immunity,” added Dr. Bravo.

For those concerned about vaccine side effects.

“Sometimes a little redness or swelling when the shot goes in, occasionally a little chills, slight fever, but most of all they don’t seem to get the intensity of the side effects that the adults did,” said Dr. Bravo.

The county is hosting a series of vaccination events for kids and teens at clinics, private pediatric practices, pharmacies, and community-trusted sites such as schools.

“It is so much easier, you’re here to pick up your child, why not stop by and get the shot,” said Gallegos.

For Kennedi Bennett and Kassidy Bennett it was a bonding experience to get their vaccines together

“I was kind of scared, but it didn’t hurt at all,” said Kassidy Bennett.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is recommending parents still hesitant about the vaccine talk directly to their child’s pediatrician.

For information on upcoming vaccination clinics and events, click here.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department said walk-ins are also an option, but they are subject to vaccine supply.