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Covid cases down 40% as Arlington starts offering vax for young children

The COVID-19 vaccine (via Arlington County/YouTube)

Arlington County is starting to vaccinate children ages 6 months to 5 years today, following federal authorization last week.

The new vaccination effort comes as cases have fallen 40% since peaking in late May.

The vaccine shots for young children are currently only being offered by appointment at the county health department’s Sequoia Plaza facility at 2100 Washington Blvd. Vaccine appointments can be booked online, but require registration, the county noted this morning on social media in response to a resident’s question.

The jabs for children 6 months to 5 years old are being offered on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The county is offering both the Pfizer three-dose series and the Moderna two-dose series, County Manager Mark Schwartz said at last night’s County Board meeting.

Schwartz also noted that those who are not online or who need assistance can call 703-228-7999.

“We’re excited to see this milestone,” Board Chair Katie Cristol, herself a mother of a toddler, said of the new vaccine offerings. “Some of us very excited to see this milestone.”

Vaccines are still being offered for older children and adults at the Arlington Mill and Walter Reed community centers, by appointment or walk in. Schwartz said that 89% of all Arlington residents 5 years of age or older have received at least one dose and about 80% are fully vaccinated.

The county, meanwhile, is still seeing falling Covid case rates.

Covid cases in Arlington as of 6/22/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

As of this morning the seven-day moving average in Arlington was 120 daily cases, down 40% from a seasonal peak of 200 on May 25, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

The county’s test positivity rate has also fallen, but more modestly, and currently stands at a relatively elevated 14.6%. That’s down from 16% at the beginning of June.

Arlington is also seeing improvement in hospitalization rates, officials say.

“We’re seeing a drop in hospitalizations,” Schwartz told the Board last night. The most recent CDC data puts the local hospitalization rate at 7.2 weekly admissions per 100,000 residents.

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