The Los Angeles Unified School District recently decided to require all eligible students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and has the support of the county’s top public official-she encourages other students to also get vaccinated.
The Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Barbara Ferrer, praised the LAUSD Board of Education at a press conference on the afternoon of Thursday, September 9th. She also said that she is optimistic that students can go to school safely. Especially in vaccination. She said that vaccines are the most effective way to contain the spread of the virus.
She said at the press conference: “We support their actions to add an extra layer of protection to the school.” “(The vaccine) helps keep students, teachers and staff in the school.”
Vaccinating students has become a hot topic in the national pandemic debate. In recent weeks, including in Los Angeles County, discussions about mandatory vaccination of students returning to campus have increased because the school district has started the school year and the highly transmitted delta variant continues to spread.
LAUSD became the nation’s largest school district on Thursday, requiring all students 12 years and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It is also the second school district in the county after the Culver City Unified School District. LAUSD students participating in face-to-face extracurricular activities must receive the first dose before October 3rd and the second dose before October 31st. All other school district students over the age of 12 must get the first dose before November 21 and the second dose before December 19.
Ferrer said that other regions may follow suit, and the health department will consult with local education officials because “they are considering and taking key actions to protect students and faculty from dangerous, deadly and highly contagious viruses,” she said. Say.
Overall, the number of coronavirus cases among students in Los Angeles County continues to rise, but the overall level is still low.
Ferrer said that from August 15 to September 7, the county recorded 7,784 positive cases among students and 1,250 staff in all schools in Los Angeles County. But this only accounts for 0.5% of the number of infections and 0.7% of the faculty and staff since the school district reopened.
During this period, 570 schools reported one case; 260 people reported 2 cases and 1032 people reported 3 cases.
However, these cases sometimes cluster together, forcing the entire grade of some schools, including the one in Manhattan Beach, to be isolated at home.
“This does not mean that the infection occurred in school,” Ferrer said. “Many of these infections occur before students go to school, and some of these infections are also caused by high community transmission rates and exposure outside school and at home.”
Nonetheless, infections on campus may continue to increase, especially among the youngest students, because people under 12 are not eligible for vaccinations.
Ferrer said that 1.3 million children in the county are not eligible for the vaccine, and the delta variant can infect children.
Ferrer said that children under the age of 18 accounted for 27% of positive cases this week, higher than ever.
But she said that the hospitalization rate of vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 is much lower than that of unvaccinated children.
“I feel like I have broken records in this regard,” she said of the importance of vaccination.
“Among this oldest child, some people are vaccinated, some people don’t,” Ferrer added. “We see how powerful the vaccine is really protective.”
So far, 62% of residents in Los Angeles County between the ages of 12 and 15 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 51% have been fully vaccinated. Ferrer said that nearly 70% of 16- and 17-year-olds in the county received partial vaccinations and 59% received full vaccinations.
Ferrell said that in addition to vaccinations, face masks and contact tracing also help ensure the safety of students in school.
But Ferrer also encourages parents-including those worried about vaccinating their children-to talk to their pediatrician or family doctor.
“Millions of teenagers have been vaccinated,” she said. “Even vaccinations among young teenagers have a good safety record.”
On Thursday, Ferrer also gave some hope to parents who worry that the isolation and subsequent independent learning requirements may harm their children’s education.
Ferrell said that now that the health department has obtained COVID-19 data from the school for a full four weeks, she will consider relaxing the isolation requirements for students who are exposed to COVID-19 positive students next week.
She said health officials will meet with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and consider whether these requirements should follow state or federal isolation guidelines.