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L.A. County COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate Remains At Lowest Level Since Start Of Pandemic

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COVID19 Vaccine 3

The Los Angeles County COVID-19 test positivity rate is remaining at the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic, public health officials said Saturday. 

Testing results are available for more than 6,502,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Saturday’s daily test positivity rate is 0.6%. The county’s test positivity remains at the lowest levels of the pandemic, according to the Department of Public Health.

“Getting vaccinated in L.A. County is easier and more accessible than ever before and we encourage everyone waiting to get vaccinated to take advantage of the opportunity as soon as possible,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in a statement. There continues to be much higher risk of COVID-19 transmission among unvaccinated people. As more L.A. County residents and workers are vaccinated, the risk of transmission of variants is significantly reduced and we get back to the many activities that we loved to do before the pandemic.” 

29 new deaths and 500 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Saturday. To date, Public Health identified 1,233,488 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,918 deaths. 

The department has identified 7,103 COVID-19 cases among people experiencing homelessness. Since the peak of 684 weekly cases reported during late December, case numbers among people experiencing homelessness substantially dropped to 59 new cases reported this week. 

A total of 206 people who were experiencing homelessness have passed away from COVID-19. Of the people experiencing homelessness who passed away, 93 were sheltered, 68 were unsheltered, and for 45 people who passed away, their shelter status was unknown, according to Public Health. 

122 providers are reporting they are administering vaccinations to people experiencing homelessness. Currently, 19,854 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles County.

 Of those vaccinated, at least 2,838 people received second doses. The county continues working with partner organizations to vaccinate and protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available without appointments at all county sites through next week. Everyone 16 and older living or working in L.A. County can walk in and get vaccinated.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Los Angeles County, visit here

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Coronavirus

CDC: Fully Vaccinated People Can Go Without Masks Indoors, Outdoors

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CDC Mask Guidelines

People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, except under certain conditions, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing on Thursday anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

 “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” Walensky said. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Walensky cited three studies, one from the United States, showing the effectiveness of vaccines. 

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, residents must wait two weeks after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC.

Those who are immune-compromised are urged to speak with their doctors before not wearing a mask, according to Walensky.

A masking requirement is still in place for travel on buses, trains, planes and public transportation. Businesses and local governments are also able to require masks.

For unvaccinated people, Walensky said: “You remain at risk of mild or severe illness of death, or spreading the disease to others. You should still mask and you should get vaccinated right away.”

Last month, the agency relaxed masking guidelines for those fully protected outdoors. 

Testing and self-quarantining are also not required when traveling domestically for those who are fully vaccinated. 

In Los Angeles County, more than 8,492,810 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of these, 5,146,142 were first doses and 3,346,668 were second doses, according to the Department of Public Health.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination efforts in L.A. County, visit here.

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Los Angeles County To Offer Pfizer Vaccine For Children 12 To 15

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COVID19 Vaccine Los Angeles County (1)

Members of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) independent panel voted Wednesday to recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 12 to 15. 

The vote was 14-0, with one abstention, clearing the way for the expanded use of the vaccine following the approval from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

On Monday, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years of age. 

FDA officials amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) originally issued on Dec. 11, 2020, for administration in individuals 16 years of age and older, according to the agency. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is now expected to move forward with the use of the Pfizer vaccine for this new age group starting Thursday, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health.

Public Health estimates there are about 500,000 people in L.A. County ages 12 to 15 now eligible for a vaccine. 

Nearly 8.5 million doses of the three available vaccines have been administered in Los Angeles County, including 3.3 million second doses, according to the department. 

Children and adolescents generally have a milder COVID-19 disease course as compared to adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, the same dosage and dosing regimen for 16 years of age and older, according to researchers. 

“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock. “(Monday’s) action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”

The FDA has determined that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria to amend the EUA, and that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine in individuals 12 years of age and older outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in this population. 

For a full list of sites across L.A. County offering Pfizer vaccines, visit here

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Pfizer Vaccine Approved By FDA For Children Ages 12 To 15

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COVID19 Vaccine Los Angeles County 2 (1)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday to include children ages 12 through 15.

 The FDA amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) originally issued on Dec. 11, 2020, for administration in individuals 16 years of age and older, according to the agency. 

“The FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age is a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. in a statement. “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”

From March 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, about 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in individuals 11 to 17 years of age have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Children and adolescents generally have a milder COVID-19 disease course as compared to adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, the same dosage and dosing regimen for 16 years of age and older, according to researchers. 

“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” Woodcock said.

The FDA has determined that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has met the statutory criteria to amend the EUA, and that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine in individuals 12 years of age and older outweigh the known and potential risks, supporting the vaccine’s use in this population. 

Nearly 8.5 million doses of the three available vaccines have been administered in Los Angeles County, including 3.3 million second doses, according to the Department of Public Health.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health, estimates there are about 500,000 people in the county ages 12 to 15.

No appointments are needed for both the Los Angeles County-run and City-run vaccination sites.

For more information, visit here.

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