Amid rising concerns about the Omicron variant, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday gave the green light to Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds. This comes as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health continues to urge not only adults to get their shots, but also for parents to inoculate all kids 5 and up.
With the Vaccine Tracker, Crosstown is staying up to date on the latest and most important data on infections and inoculations.
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Despite the push for more protection against COVID-19, the number of shots that went into arms this week in Los Angeles County fell to its lowest level since early November. From Nov. 26-Dec. 2, a total of 299,265 doses were administered to residents ages 12 and older, with 66,031 of them being second doses. This marks a 54.6% decrease from the previous week.
On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health announced that COVID-19 is now one of the top 10 causes of death among children nationwide. Kids 5 and up became eligible for inoculation on Nov. 3, and by Dec. 2 (the most recent day for which data is available), 137,563 people in this age group in the county had been vaccinated. That works out to nearly 15% of the 900,000 eligible children.
As of Dec. 2, the county had administered 14,833,680 doses. That includes 5,992,413 second doses. Additionally, more than 1.49 million county residents have received a booster shot.
As has been the case for months, there continues to be a wide discrepancy in vaccination rates among people of different ethnic groups in the county. An estimated 75.2% of Asian or Asian-American Angelenos were fully vaccinated by Dec. 2, as were 67.2% of white residents, according to Department of Public Health data. Meanwhile, just 52.9% of eligible Latinx people in the county, and 49.4% of Black Angelenos, are fully protected. The disparity comes despite health and political leaders conducting vaccination outreach efforts across the region.
On Tuesday, the seven-day average of cases was 1,625. That is an 89.8% increase from the week prior, but the spike may not be as alarming as some might initially think. The previous week’s tally was likely an undercount due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Additionally, even though numbers are rising, and will likely continue to do so as people spend more time indoors because of cool weather, the situation is much better than it was last year, when vaccines were just beginning to roll out. On Dec. 10, 2020, the county recorded 12,819 new cases.
The seven-day average of deaths dropped to 14 on Tuesday, a 22.2% decline from one week prior. Average deaths have remained below 25 since Sept. 29. On Wednesday, the county reported that 629 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a 10.5% increase from the previous week.
The daily test positivity rate stood at 1.5% on Thursday. Last year at this time it was in the vicinity of 12%.
The average daily positivity rate in November was 1.3%, a slight increase from October’s average of 1%.
Daily positivity rate in Los Angeles County, Nov. 1-Dec. 7
Case numbers are also ticking up in local schools, though they continue to remain at relatively low levels. From the week of Dec. 2-8, the Los Angeles Unified School District conducted more than 456,000 coronavirus tests of its students and staff, and recorded 892 positive cases. That works out to a 0.2% positivity rate. The total represents an increase from the 516 positive results in the week of Nov. 5-11.
How we did it: We analyzed coronavirus data related to new cases, deaths, hospitalization and vaccinations data provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, as well as data from the Los Angeles Unified School District.