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Nursing Facility COVID-19 Cases Plummet In L.A. County As Vaccinations Increase

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COVID19 Vaccine Los Angeles County 2 (1)

Skilled nursing facility COVID-19 cases have plummeted in Los Angeles County as vaccinations increase. 

For the week of April 17, nearly 45,000 COVID-19 tests were completed among staff and residents and only 26 people tested positive for COVID-19; six new cases among residents and 17 new cases among staff, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

For comparison, the week beginning December 28, 2020, a total of 2,532 people tested positive for COVID-19; 1,423 cases among residents and 1,109 cases among staff. 

As of last week, 83% of skilled nursing facility staff and 83% of residents received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Public Health. 

Among those who had received the first dose, 96% of staff and 91% of residents have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated.  

These numbers only reflect reported rates among current residents, not the total number of residents who have been vaccinated. There is a high turnover rate among residents in these facilities, according to the department. 

“Where we see high rates of vaccination, we are seeing transmission of COVID-19 plummet. Each person that is vaccinated has the best protection against COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in a statement. “Throughout the pandemic, individuals have taken actions, like masking and distancing, that have protected not only themselves but protected others; getting vaccinated is no different – not only are you protecting yourself, you are doing your part to stop transmission and prevent hospitalizations and deaths. While millions of County residents are fully vaccinated, we still have a way to go to get to a level of vaccinations that will make COVID-19 no longer a threat.  Encourage your family and friends not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated.” 

On Wednesday, 31 new deaths and 341 additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed. To date, Public Health identified 1,232,373 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,831 deaths.

 There are 408 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 27% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for more than 6,460,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive. Wednesday’s daily test positivity rate is 0.8%.

No appointments are needed at county-run mass vaccination sites through Thursday, April 29 while supply lasts. 

Everyone 16 and older living or working in L.A. County can walk in and get vaccinated. Visit here for more information. 

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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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Coronavirus

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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