COVID hospitalizations down as children begin receiving vaccines

Three-year-old twins Luca, left, and Quincy Yacoub show off their Band-Aids after getting a COV ...

Clark County reported fewer hospitalizations from COVID-19 this week as vaccines began rolling out for children 6 months to 5 years old in Southern Nevada.

The number of patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Clark County decreased to 338 from last week’s 351, according to data released Wednesday by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. There were 402 hospitalizations statewide.

Experts say that hospitalizations are now a better indicator of COVID’s impact on a community than case numbers.

But case numbers were also down, with the county’s two-week average of daily confirmed cases falling to 637 from 728 last week, according to state data. The number of cases statewide also fell to 834 from 943.

The Southern Nevada Health District announced this month that Clark County was experiencing a high level of community spread of COVID-19, a CDC designation that is based on hospitalization and case numbers. The move prompted organizations like UNLV and federal facilities such as Nellis Air Force Base to again require or recommend wearing masks indoors.

Clark County’s designation remained high on Wednesday, but the Nevada Hospital Association said Wednesday that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations was slowing and that the disease was viewed as a “routine condition within the health care system.”

“There are now vaccines, treatments, and a medical understanding of the virus,” they wrote. “Hence, it is no longer considered novel among hospital staff.”

Vaccines roll out for young

On Wednesday, the state began rolling out vaccinations for children ages 6 months to 5 years old after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children.

The Southern Nevada Health District is offering the Pfizer vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years old at its clinics located at the College of Southern Nevada’s West Charleston and North Las Vegas campuses, the Galleria at Sunset, at the Boulevard mall inside El Mercado, and at the Southern Nevada Community Health Center clinic at 280 S. Decatur Blvd.

Children can receive their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which is administered in three doses, three weeks after the first dose, with a third dose administered at least eight weeks after the second dose.

The health district will also offer the Moderna vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years old at its Health Center clinic at 280 S. Decatur Blvd.

Children can receive their second dose of the two-dose Moderna vaccine 28 days after their initial dose.

For more information on COVID-19 clinic locations, visit covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org.

Contact Lorraine Longhi at 480-243-4086 or llonghi@reviewjournal.com. Follow her @lolonghi on Twitter.