Boosters were previously only allowed for ages 16 and over. The booster will be of the Pfizer brand, as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are only available for ages 18 and over.

“Science tells us that the omicron variant is highly contagious and is causing an unprecedented increase in the number of cases,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “Data also shows that being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receiving a booster can make symptoms much less severe and reduce the possibility of hospitalization. Now, it’s more important than ever to make sure everyone in your household is immunized and vaccinated, and especially our young people. “

Long Beach continued to see an increase in the number of cases on Monday, with 1,878 new infections reported. The city also reported three new deaths and 310 people hospitalized, up from 271 on Friday. Of those tested for COVID-19, nearly 30% now test positive.

Boosters will be available five months after an eligible person receives their second dose of a vaccine. In Long Beach, 6,720 youth aged 12 to 15 who completed the two-dose series of Pfizer by August 7 will be eligible.

Third doses for moderately or severely immunocompromised children aged 5 to 11 years should be given 28 days after their second dose.

All minors need parental permission to be vaccinated against COVID-19; parents or guardians can give their consent when making an appointment via My turn. Reminders will also be available at all city-run vaccination sites, which operate six days a week and have daytime and evening appointments. Up-to-date timetables are available on longbeach.gov/vaxlb or by calling 562-570-4636.

As an added precaution during the dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections, the Los Angeles County Director of Public Health on Tuesday urged residents to avoid non-essential activities in the coming weeks, especially those that are indoors and involve mingling with unvaccinated or higher risk people. .

Public health director Barbara Ferrer said nearly 35,000 new infections are expected to be reported on Tuesday when official figures are released, along with 15 more deaths.

“While we are in the wave, we ask that you exercise more caution, even if you are vaccinated and boosted,” Ferrer said at the County Oversight Board meeting on Tuesday.

His comments came as state figures showed the number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals stood at 3,766, up from 3,472 on Monday. The number of those patients in intensive care rose to 513, from 482 a day earlier.

Dr Christina Ghaly, county health services director, said that despite the increase in the number of patients, the omicron-fueled outbreak is playing out differently in hospitals compared to previous outbreaks.

She said that last fall about a third of COVID patients ended up in intensive care, but that number is only around 10 to 15% this time around, at least in the four hospitals run by the county, which probably reflects conditions in other medical centers. .

She also said about 40% of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals were admitted specifically because of the virus, while the rest only learned they were infected on admission for something else. . During the last winter wave, 80 to 90% of COVID patients were admitted due to illness linked to the virus.

Ghaly said that despite the changes and numbers that are still overshadowed by the wave of last winter – when more than 8,000 COVID patients were hospitalized – current staff shortages are creating more critical conditions in hospitals.

Ghaly said three Los Angeles area hospitals – Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City, Little Company of Mary in San Pedro, and Antelope Valley Hospital – have all set up emergency units for help manage the increase in the number of patients.

Ferrer again stressed that although the omicron variant is easily capable of infecting those who have been vaccinated, the injections are still found to be effective in preventing those infected from ending up in hospital.

She said unvaccinated people are nine times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated people and 38 times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated and boostered people.

The county reported 43,582 new cases of COVID on Monday, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 2,010,964 since the start of the pandemic.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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