Health experts push for vax eligibility for children ages 5-11, as Bronx cases steady

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a 12-year-old child outside the Bronx Writing Academy school on June 4.
There have been approximately 5 million COVID-19 cases nationwide in children since as of Sept. 2, 2021, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
photo Getty Images

As health experts push to get coronavirus vaccinations authorized for children in the 5 -11 age group by Halloween, Bronx COVID cases are steadying as school-aged children return to the classroom throughout the borough.

Entering Monday, Bronx County has reached 192,231 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a seven-day average of 261 newly confirmed cases per day, according to the state’s recent health data released on Sept 13.

Entering Tuesday, there were 1,026,423 confirmed cases in New York City, with 66.2% of the population vaccinated.

The nation’s top leaders said in various media appearances last week that efforts to get younger children vaccinated remain a top priority, with Halloween as a target date for the 5-11 crowd.

“You could potentially have a vaccine available to children ages 5 to 11 by Halloween,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief who sits on the board of Pfizer.
There have been approximately 5 million COVID-19 cases nationwide in children since the pandemic began as of Sept. 2, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
More than 250,000 cases were recorded across the country between Aug. 19 and Sept. 2, the most recent week for which data is available, which the organization reports was the largest weekly increase since the pandemic began.
In a media appearance on Sunday, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said that vaccinations among younger children is the agency’s “top priority” and when the FDA does receive data from the manufacturers, they are ready to “process that quickly.”
The FDA has made it clear to parents that they need to wait for formal authorization, saying “the vaccine doses that are currently being studied in younger children are not necessarily the same vaccine doses” that have been approved for other age groups.
One of the areas with the highest neighborhood positivity rates is the Morris Park/Pelham Bay/Westchester Square section with a 6.6% positivity rate which is the fifth-highest in the New York City metro region. The Castle Hill/Clason Point/Soundview region has a 5.6% positivity rate, which is the 13th-highest positivity rate in the NYC region.
The Bronx has a seven-day positivity rate of 3.9%.
According to the state’s vaccination data, 872,818 people, or 61.5% of Bronx residents, have received at least one dose and 744,308  (52.5%) are fully vaccinated.

This third wave of COVID-19 cases in the five boroughs can be largely attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus, which the city Health Department says accounts for about 98% of all new infections.

According to COVID Act Now, the Bronx has the highest vulnerability rate to COVID-19, a metric based on economic and physical challenges as well as predicted time of recovery from COVID-19.

Reach Robbie Sequeira at or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bronxtimes.

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