New data from the California Department of Public Health reveals about 4.2% of Californians ages 5 to 11 have gotten their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine since young children became eligible last week.
Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was cleared for use in California on Nov. 3, though many providers did not begin appointments or clinics until this week. About 85,000 of the 147,000 reported doses were administered this Monday through Wednesday, according to data updated Thursday by the California Department of Public Health. As with vaccination rates for those 12 and older, Bay Area counties led the way: Marin has the highest rate at 13.4%, with Santa Clara second at 12.8%. Sparsely populated Mono County has reached 12.5%, followed by San Francisco at an even 12%, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Health experts say vaccinating children is an important step in ending the pandemic, and in preventing severe surges as early as this winter. At 3.5 million, kids 5 to 11 make up about 9% of California’s 39.5 million residents.