SAN DIEGO (CNS) - More than 7,000 children ages 5-11 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday, and starting Thursday, they will be included in the county's overall vaccination rate.
Through Tuesday, a total of 279,293 San Diegans had received a COVID-19 booster and 7,320 children ages 5 through 11 had received their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine -- the only one approved for that age group.
"It's great that San Diegans are getting their booster shots and that parents are vaccinating their children," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "This will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as we enter the holiday season and into 2022.
"The more people who are vaccinated, the better off we'll be at putting this pandemic behind us," she said.
The county Health and Human Services Agency added the younger-children age group to the number of San Diegans eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, increasing that number to 3,147,936.
"As a result, the percentages of San Diegans who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and of those who are fully vaccinated dropped by about nine percentage points each compared to last week," an HHSA statement read.
The number of county residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is now nearly 2.57 million -- or 81.7% of residents 5 and older. More than 2.32 million, or 73.8% of that cohort, are fully vaccinated.
San Diego County reported 447 new cases of COVID-19 and no new virus- related deaths on Wednesday.
Wednesday's data increased the county's cumulative total to 376,114 cases since the pandemic began, with the death toll remaining at 4,272.
There were 271 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county as of Wednesday, an increase of 33 from Tuesday, according to the latest state figures. Of those, 79 people were in intensive care, up three from the previous day.
A total of 15,965 new tests were reported to the county on Wednesday, and the percentage of new positive cases over the past week was 3.1%, according to the county health department.