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"Vaccinating Young Teenagers Seen as Vital to Vanquishing COVID-19 in California"

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the importance of extending the state’s vaccination campaign to teens and adolescents

Thursday, May 20, 2021

When L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced last week that the county could obtain herd immunity among adults and the oldest teenagers as soon as July, it marked an incredible milestone for a region once positioned as an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the remarks also raised questions about what role, if any, young people will play in achieving that goal. Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in California late last week.

The county has already administered more than 9 million vaccine doses, with roughly 2 million first doses to go before 80% of all residents 16 and older will have received at least one shot, Ferrer said, adding, “At the rate we’re going, we expect that we can reach this level somewhere in mid- to late July, and that assumes that we continue to have at least 400,000 people vaccinated each week.”