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Author: Phyllis Agran, MD, MPH

COVID-19 Resources for Families

Throughout the pandemic, it has been very difficult for parents to separate fact from fiction from opinion.

To help, Orange County pediatricians, UC Irvine, and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) are working together to provide accurate information that parents can trust.

I’m proud to be a member of a working group that has been established within the health care and education community to help families make data-driven decisions for their children.

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We Must Work Together to Keep Our Kids Safe

Here in Orange County, we are in the midst of another severe surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, even though we have access to remarkably safe and effective vaccines.

The COVID-19 pandemic has largely become a pandemic of the unvaccinated — people who are eligible but, so far, refuse to get vaccinated.

These individuals have become vectors of disease for younger children (under 12) who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic Isn’t Over Yet … And Our Children Are Most at Risk

Over the past month, California and Orange County cases of COVID-19 have increased. As the CDC has repeated, this is now a pandemic largely of the unvaccinated.

As long as there are unvaccinated individuals, the highly contagious and highly transmissible Delta variant will continue to spread throughout the community, and new variants will continue to emerge.

In order to stop the spread of this deadly virus once and for all, we must encourage everyone we know to get vaccinated, including children 12 years of age and older.

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Should Your Child Take Swim Lessons Before Being Vaccinated?

Parents have begun asking pediatricians if their children — who are too young to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — can take swim lessons this summer.

The answer is yes, swimming is a great family activity! It’s good exercise and a life-saving skill. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends water safety and swim lessons for all children as a layer of protection against drowning.

While a COVID-19 vaccine for younger children is not yet available, taking extra precautions can help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure during swim lessons.

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Yes, Children as Young as 12 Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccines are proving to be the way to navigate out of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why it is important to vaccinate those eligible as quickly as possible. Currently, just under half of the residents in Orange County are fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine is now available for children 12 years of age and older. The majority of those working in the medical field have already had our children and grandchildren vaccinated. I encourage other parents to do this as well.

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Latest COVID-19 Stats

301,854Cases in OC

 

175

Now Hospitalized

 

5,528

Deaths in OC

 

13,961

Cases in Irvine

 

107

Deaths in Irvine

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