Turlock residents now have an opportunity to get their pre-teen and teenagers a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Stanislaus County Health Service Agency’s vaccine clinic at Stanislaus State is offering the Pfizer vaccine access to adolescents aged 12 to 15 years on Saturday. The clinic will be offering the vaccine from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until supply runs out.
“Vaccination is the best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19. We welcome the news of the expansion of the Pfizer vaccine FDA authorization to adolescents ages 12 to 15,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer. “We cannot stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated to protect yourself and your family and strongly encourage parents and guardians to have those 12 and over vaccinated quickly, so the kids can get back to some form of normalcy.”
While younger people do not typically get the severe form of the virus, it is not unheard of, according to the SCHSA.
From March 1, 2020 through April 30, approximately 3,602 COVID-19 cases in individuals 12 to 17 years of age have been reported to SCHSA.
In the past two months, Stanislaus County Public Health confirmed 620 cases of COVID-19 in schools with 69% of those cases amongst students. This resulted in 287 quarantines that impacted 2,008 staff and 4,381 students. Additionally, 25 school sports teams were quarantined due to a positive case. There were four clusters and three outbreaks linked to sports.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart. Parents or guardians need to be present with their child for vaccination.
As the vaccination effort expands in Stanislaus County, the health department has found another strain of COVID-19 in the community.
A variant first detected in Brazil has been found in Stanislaus County and does not appear to be travel related.
"This is a reminder that these variants of concern are spreading, and new variants continue to be detected in Stanislaus County. The best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Vaishampayan. “In addition, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, wearing a mask, keeping a distance from others and washing hands often add more layers of protection and stops the spread of this virus.”
The P.1 variant was first detected in the U.S. at the end of January 2021. This variant contains a set of additional mutations that may affect its ability to be recognized by antibodies from previous infections and may increase the chance of reinfection. P.1 variant is an addition to the three other COVID-19 variants previously detected in Stanislaus County. These strains continue to be closely investigated.
COVID-19 spread remains substantial in Stanislaus County. As of Friday, there have been 55,625 positive cases, 599,224 negative tests and 1,061 deaths.
Vaccines are available by appointments or walk-ins. Community members are encouraged to visit MyTurn.ca.gov or call 1-833-540-0473 to find the nearest vaccination site, if they choose to make an appointment. Vaccinations are always free and open to those who live and work in Stanislaus County regardless of immigration status. For more information on mobile clinics and other mass vaccination clinic sites, please visit www.schsa.org/coronavirus/.