Officials Discuss Teens And Vaccines

Officials Discuss Teens And Vaccines

Nico Payne

Hospitalizations for Covid-19 patients have dropped nearly 15 percent to a one-year low. This news comes as the positivity rate continues to decrease and vaccine eligibility expands.

Since March 2020, Riverside County has reported 296,090 cases and 4,481 fatalities, and on Friday officials reported that there were 89 coronavirus patients being treated county-wide.

“The virus needs a human body to grow and procreate, so the more people that are protected, that’s the best thing that we can do to avoid another surge,” said Dr. Arnold Tabuenca, Chief Medical Officer with RUHS Medical Center.

Officials also saying vaccinating teenagers could be key to contain and control possible surges. Residents 16 years of age now eligible to get vaccinated at four county health clinics.

“Even before the vaccine was finally approved by the food and drug administration, studies were on the way for teenagers. and the studies were for teenagers that were 16-25,” explained Tabuenca.

The eligibility expansion to include people as young as 16 was slated to begin statewide on April 15th, but because Riverside County is well stocked on vaccines, eligibility criteria was adjusted Tuesday, meaning teens 16 and 17 years of age are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

“The reason why only 16 and older can be given the Pfizer vaccine, for 16 and 17 years old, is because Pfizer was the first drug company to complete the study for those ages. Moderna is currently having studies done, they expect that those studies will be completed probably by mid-year,” said Tabuenca.

And as vaccination eligibility expands, Governor Newsom declaring the state will reopen in June.

“We can confidently say that by June 15th we can start to open up as business as usual, subject to ongoing mask usage and ongoing vigilance,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

“The CDC, because of the protection of the vaccine recommends that if two people received the vaccine, they can interact without a mask, but if the two have received the vaccine. and we still want to be careful if I receive the vaccine and I’m protected and I’m in contact with somebody else that has not received the vaccine,” said Tabuenca.

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