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Covid vaccine rollout to young kids ‘working smoothly,’ Fairfax County Health Department says

Workers at the Fairfax County Government Center’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic schedule a “baby Moderna” dose (via Fairfax County Health Department/Facebook)

(Updated at 11:30 a.m. on 6/28/2022) The Fairfax Health District reported a small uptick in COVID-19 cases over the past week, while the availability of vaccines for the area’s youngest residents expanded.

With more than 500 new cases reported on three different days last week, the district — which includes Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church — saw its seven-day average rise from 378 cases on June 19 to 429 cases today (Monday), according to Virginia Department of Health data.

The district has also seen a sharp jump in its testing positivity rate over that time frame, from 16% on June 18 to 18% as of Thursday (June 23). The average number of people getting PCR tests for Covid each day has declined by over 1,000 encounters since May 24.

The Fairfax County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard suggests the increase in cases could reflect a data reporting backlog, with adjustments being made “over the next several weeks” since June 14.

Regardless, the current case levels are still below the weekly average of 601 cases recorded on May 25 — the high mark for the spring — and the all-time high of 2,590 cases from Jan. 13.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 26 weeks, as of June 27, 2022 (via VDH)

With a case rate of 231.19 per 100,000 residents, Fairfax County is still seeing a “medium” community COVID-19 level, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 75 new Covid patients were admitted to a hospital last week through Thursday, a 13.8% drop from the previous seven days.

With 249 cases added today, the Fairfax Health District has reported 213,845 COVID-19 cases, 4,635 hospitalizations, and 1,529 deaths during the pandemic.

All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of June 27, 2022 (via VDH)

Since Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines for kids under 5 became available last Tuesday (June 21), clinics at the Fairfax County Government Center and South County Hyland Center have administered shots to over 1,600 children aged 6 months through 4 years old, the county health department says.

That includes kids from other jurisdictions, along with the Fairfax Health District, which was the first place in Northern Virginia to start offering the new vaccinations.

After initially reaching capacity and reporting long waits at its clinics, complicated by a lag in the federal Vaccine Administration Management System updating to include the newest age group, FCHD says the appointment process is now “working smoothly.”

The vaccines have also become more widely available from other localities, including Arlington and the City of Alexandria, as well as pediatricians, family practices, and other private medical providers.

“Pediatricians and family practices (and other local jurisdiction health departments) started to receive and provide vaccinations later in the week,” FCHD spokesperson Lucy Caldwell told FFXnow by email. “But it is too soon to tell how much of an impact this will have on our clinics.”

While data on how many Fairfax Health District residents under 5 have gotten a shot isn’t available right now, Caldwell notes that the expansion of vaccine eligibility to that age group has inspired many parents and older siblings to get a booster shot while at the county’s clinics.

According to FCHD’s most recent data, 92.7% of all kids over age 12 in the district have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 84.6% have had two doses. In addition, 61% of children aged 5-11 have received one dose, and 54.5% have received two doses.

Overall, 997,091 Fairfax Health District residents — or 84.2% of the population — have gotten at least one vaccine dose, including 92.9% of adults 18 and older. About 908,859 residents, or 76.8%, are fully vaccinated, including 84.9% of adults.

Photo via Fairfax County Health Department/Facebook

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