FILE — Ryan Natividad, 6, turns his face away and closes his eyes as he receives his first Covid-19 vaccine on Nov. 4, 2021. (Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County’s Health Department has administered more Covid-19 vaccine doses to children ages 5-11 than any other local vaccine provider, county officials said Tuesday.

As of Sept. 29, the Public Health and Clinic Services divisions of the Health Department have administered 28 percent of vaccine doses among the county’s children ages 5-11.

The county’s health system also accounts for 26 percent of the doses administered to children ages 12-17. Among both age groups, only non-local providers such as state- and federally operated clinics have administered more doses to children across the county.

“Though there continues to be a shortage of qualified vaccinators and a dwindling of host sites and volunteer availability, the Public Health Bureau will host dual influenza and Covid-19 vaccination clinics … throughout October and November,” Assistant Director of Public Health Dr. Kristy Michie told the county’s Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The county’s Public Health Bureau has hosted 334 vaccination clinics as of Sept. 29, including 61 at local K-12 schools and the county’s Office of Education and another 59 hosted at sites adjacent to a school campus.

According to the county, roughly 96 of those clinics have also been held in parts of the county that have been more adversely affected by the pandemic.

Overall, 40 percent of the county’s children ages 5-11 have completed their initial vaccination series while 73.2 percent of kids ages 12-17 have done so. Just 1.8 percent of children under age 5 have completed their initial vaccine series.

The county has some 78,000 children between the ages of 5 and 17 who are eligible for the vaccine.

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