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Category: Health & Safety

The Latest Update on COVID-19 & Vaccines for Young Children

While fully vaccinated/boosted individuals are less likely to experience severe disease requiring hospitalization, Orange County is now considered a “high transmission area” with hundreds and hundreds of new cases and re-infections of COVID-19 being reported across the County every day.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Two Years In

January 20th marked the second anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 reported in the United States.

Since that time, more than 79 million cases have been reported throughout the nation and nearly one million of our fellow Americans have died from this horrible virus.

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Another Horrible Week in Irvine as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Surge

During the second week in January, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported 55,815 new cases of COVID-19 among our County’s residents.

The number of hospitalizations also sharply increased, with 1,154 hospital beds filled with COVID-19 patients across the County. That is an increase of 379 since this time a week ago. And, we lost another 15 Orange County residents in the past week.

Here in Irvine, there have been 5,555 new cases of COVID-19 reported among our Irvine neighbors this past week.

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Another COVID-19 Surge Across Orange County & Here in Irvine

On January 10th, the OC Health Care Agency reported a staggering 22,945 new cases of COVID-19 for the day; and 964 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. (87% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.)

In just over three weeks, there have been 79,423 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Orange County and 62 more residents in the County have died from this horrible virus.

During the same time period, there have been 7,710 new cases of COVID-19 reported here in Irvine, and we have lost another neighbor to the virus.

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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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This Pool Season: One More Drowning is One Too Many

It’s that time of the year again — pool season!  As temperatures rise, there’s nothing more fun for kids to do than splash away in the nearest pool. However, we must also be aware of the dangers that come with access to swimming pools. 

Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death among children ages 1-4 here in Orange County.

Every year, we hear tragic stories about accidental drownings in backyard pools.  A 4-sided pool fence would prevent most of these tragedies from occurring.

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We’re Doing Better … But We Aren’t Out of the Woods Yet

The good news is that the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Orange County has dropped significantly.

However, only 15% of our County’s residents have been fully vaccinated, so we must continue to follow the safety protocols until that number dramatically increases. 

The only way out of this global pandemic is through vaccines! We must get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible to save lives and to stop the virus from spreading before more variants are created.

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LATEST COVID-19 STATS

648,871

Cases in OC

 

291

Now Hospitalized

 

7,262

Deaths in OC

 

47,982

Cases in Irvine

 

172

Deaths in Irvine

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