COVID Incident Commander on New Numbers and Infant Vaccinations
Lest you think Missoula County is finished hearing about COVID, KGVO reached out to the Missoula City-County Health Department for an update on current numbers, as well as the new vaccines for children six months and up.
Incident Commander Cindy Farr told KGVO about the new infant vaccine available through your family’s health provider.
“The vaccine is now available for kids aged six months and up,” said Farr. “That's a new recommendation for (children) six months to five years that they go ahead and get vaccinated for COVID. We have talked to a lot of the pharmacies in town who have been doing COVID vaccines this whole time and they're not going to be doing COVID vaccinations for that younger age group. Because of that, we recommend that if you would like to get your child vaccinated, you can either go to Missoula info.com or call our health department and you can make an appointment.”
Farr explained why children six months and older should be vaccinated against COVID.
“Now that we've gotten many sub-variants of the Omicron strain, we do feel like they are more susceptible than say like the Alpha or the Delta strains that we saw in the past. While I know that it makes people nervous, I just want to point out that we've now had the COVID vaccine available for a year and a half for a lot of the other age groups, and so there's a lot of data to support that it’s actually beneficial and it's better for them to not get COVID. It’s better to get vaccinated so that they do not get COVID rather than having to worry about your six-month-old getting really sick with COVID.”
Farr explained the CDC recommended vaccine doses for children six months and older.
“For the Pfizer vaccine, it's a three-dose vaccine series with the second three to eight weeks after the first dose and the third dose eight weeks after the second dose. And for the Moderna vaccine right now it's recommended as a two-dose series with the second dose being four to eight weeks after the first dose.”
Farr said COVID numbers are definitely on the rise, due to more hospitalizations.
“We are seeing an increase in hospitalizations right now,” she said. “Currently we've got 11 Missoula County residents hospitalized and five non-county residents that are hospitalized. That's about the most that we've seen since mid-February. So that is an indication that we are seeing a lot of community spread. Right now we are definitely seeing an uptick in cases. I think our seven-day average for 100,000 people is up to 41 and we really want it to stay below 25. Anything below 25 per 100,000 in the last seven days is where we want to be. So, right now Missoula County is hanging at the CDC's medium risk category.”
Those using the free at-home test kits can send their positive results to the Missoula City-County Health Department by clicking here.