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Sofia Espinoza Tam is held by her father, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles pediatrician Dr. Juan Espinoza, while nurse Monica Lopez administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Sofia Espinoza Tam is held by her father, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles pediatrician Dr. Juan Espinoza, while nurse Monica Lopez administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (Wesley Lapointe/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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PHILADELPHIA — COVID cases have increased in Philadelphia about 40% over the past month — and that's without counting the scores of people testing positive at home as the latest BA.5 omicron variant surges across the country.

Although vaccines are keeping most people alive and out of the hospital, the White House has been urging all Americans to get vaccinated and boosted, including the young children that this summer finally gained access to immunizations.

"If you are vaccinated but have not gotten a booster, this is a really good time to go and get a booster," said White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha in a briefing last week.

Many across the nation appear to be shrugging off the guidance.

The latest data shows that few of America's youngest have received a dose of the vaccine — and many adults are going without recommended booster shots. The same trends are playing out locally.

Here's an overview of who is getting vaccinated — and not.

Last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that just over a month after their approval, vaccination rates among children under 5 seemingly has peaked at 2.8%. Since the most enthusiastic parents got their kids' shots, the average number of new doses administered nationally has started declining.

The slow uptake was predicted. Only 1 in 5 parents of children in this age group wanted to get their child vaccinated right away, according to a May poll by Kaiser Family Foundation. An updated poll released on Tuesday found that 4 in 10 parents for eligible children would "definitely not" vaccinate their child.

The uptick following the approval of the first pediatric vaccines played out differently for children 5 to 11. After vaccines were recommended for the older children in November 2021, about 30% of this age group nationwide is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

Adults also aren't rushing after booster shots, and the recent wave of the omicron variant BA.5 has seemingly done little to change attitudes. Through July 21, about 51.4% of U.S. residents 18 and older had received a booster. In recent months, vaccination rates have plateaued for all demographic groups, no matter whether they are going without first shots or boosters.

Public health authorities say they still hope to see more people get vaccinated.

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(c)2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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