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Young children among least vaccinated, new data shows

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots during an event hosted by the Chicago Department of Public Health at the Southwest Senior Center on September 09, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. The recently authorized booster vaccine protects against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the more recent omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

New COVID-19 data suggests children between 6 months and 4 years old had the lowest vaccination rates throughout the county. 

Nationally, children of the youngest age were found to have the lowest vaccination rates with 3.5% receiving at least one shot in July, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number grew by November to about 8.8% for children ages 2–4 years old. Those less than 2 years old were at 5.9%.

Florida’s numbers were far lower with 3.1% of its youngest demographic receiving at least one dose by November, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The CDC's study also found:

  • 59.3% were unvaccinated, but a parent was open to vaccination
  • 37.2% were unvaccinated, and a parent was reluctant to vaccinate their child
  • Openness to vaccination was higher among parents of Hispanic or Latino, non-Hispanic Black or African American, and non-Hispanic Asian groups than among parents of non-Hispanic White children.

As for COVID cases, Orange’s positivity rate remained at 6.1% over the last month. Statewide, the positivity rate rose from 7.8 to 8% between October and November.  The World Health Organization's recommended level for an area is 5% or lower.

Experts say COVID-19 vaccinations need two weeks in a person’s system before offering total coverage, but a shot taken in less time still offers some protection ahead of holiday gatherings.