Edward Henderson | California Black Media
Efforts continue in California to raise awareness and encourage youth to become fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
As of June 9, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported 1.4 million cases of COVID-19 among youth aged 5-17, which accounted for 15.5% of all cases in the state. There have been 46 deaths among children in this age group. For children below five years old, 293,607 confirmed cases have been reported and 25 deaths.
Now that the federal government has lifted age restrictions on who can receive vaccinations, community organizations have partnered with healthcare providers and public health advocates serving California to host events across the state encouraging young people to take the shot. They are reminding the young people about the importance of protecting themselves and family members from spreading the deadly disease.
On May 21, the Akoma Unity Center in San Bernardino hosted an event titled ‘Spring into Wellness.’ Participants enjoyed activities like complimentary yoga in the park, Zumba and Capoeira lessons, a petting zoo and crafting activities. The event also featured a live DJ, complementary food and fun activities for youth to participate in. The vaccination clinic at the event, sponsored by the CDPH and delivered by SnapNurse, a health care staffing agency, delivered over 20 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to children, teens and adults.
On June 3, the Summer Movies in the Park Pre-Show Family Fun event took place at Alec Fergusson Park in Rialto where vaccination rates are amongst the lowest in the state. Currently, only 58% of Rialto residents have been fully vaccinated. The event was attended by over 250 people and featured a complimentary dinner and gourmet kettle corn. It featured a variety of activities held to engage children, including face painting, balloon twisting, bouncy houses, bubble blowing and a photo booth. Informational resource booths were available for attendees and another vaccination clinic, also sponsored by the CDPH delivered over 20 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
On Saturday, June 4, about 70 miles away in Inglewood, CDPH and Vaccinate All 58, a governor’s office initiative created to respond to COVID, hosted ‘The Family Reunion: A Day of Fun for the Whole Family’ in Inglewood. Families came out and participated in an array of fun activities offered along with various health services. Children received Marvel Comics-inspired coloring books featuring the adventures of superhero duo “Vaccine” and her big brother “Booster.” Stepyourgameup.org, a virtual realty mobile gaming service, provided a 50-foot video game arcade hosted by a hip-hop -inspired character, “Homeboy the Clown,” who led children in a spirited dance and exercise session. Throughout the day, the street DJs of KJLH 102.3 radio free station and Guy Black provided music.
Some of the health services offered included eye examinations and eyesight evaluation. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Center also provided free, safe and effective vaccine and booster shots to families along with preventive care health screenings like blood pressure and temperature readings. Fifty-dollar Amazon gift cards were awarded to lucky participants who visited three of the health vendors.
Across California last week, COVID-19 deaths leveled at one the lowest points since the pandemic began with a weekly average of one death on June 7. That same day, the CDPH reported a weekly average of 13,742 cases.
Get more information on where you or a loved one can get a COVID shot or booster.