The CDC data reveals a spike in hospitalizations for kids 17 and under after the Delta variant took hold. Graph courtesy CDC

Families in San Mateo County are beginning to vaccinate their kids against COVID-19 following advice from federal officials and new local information on how to do so. There is even a clinic set for a Pacifica elementary school in the coming days.

The San Mateo County Office of Education has scheduled a webinar for tonight for parents seeking more information on the science. The webinar begins at 6 tonight and will be in Spanish with English translation. It features Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a Stanford professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases, along with other pediatricians and representatives from the county Health Department. The webinar can be seen by searching circulocultural.rwc on Facebook or on the San Mateo County Health Department’s Twitter or Facebook page.

On Tuesday the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally recommended that children ages 5 to 11 be vaccinated and the agency has approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in kids. Children in this age range will receive one-third of the adult dose of the vaccine.

The CDC has found that while, in general, children are less likely to suffer severe illness as a result to COVID-19 infection, severe illness can and does occur. In August, the CDC released a report showing that hospitalization rates for those under 17 years of age and infected with the virus were four times higher in states with the lowest vaccination rates. Data shows that cases among those 5 to 11 years old peaked in January 2021 and dipped by early summer. However, once the Delta variant took hold, the CDC says cases have rebounded and in August were 28.5 incidences per 100,000 people in the population.

Local providers were working to begin giving children shots in accordance with CDC recommendations.

There are vaccination clinics set up at the San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Ave., in San Mateo, beginning this weekend. Families should use the MyTurn site to schedule appointments. The dates and time are:

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6;

2:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10, 11 and 12; and

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Schools are also setting up clinics, though officials warned on Thursday that many of the existing clinics are already full. One is set for Nov. 16 at Sunset Ridge Elementary School, 340 Inverness Drive, in Pacifica.

Pharmacies and private doctors have also begun to give shots.

Clay Lambert is the editorial director for Coastside News Group. After years working at regional daily newspapers, he began as editor of the Half Moon Bay Review in 2004.

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