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El Paso County leads state in COVID-19 vaccination rates for young children


This story has been updated with data as of Saturday, Nov. 20.

El Paso children ages 5 to 11 are being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the highest rate among Texas’ largest counties.

As of Saturday, more than 18,000 El Paso children in that age group had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, more than 19% of that age roup, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Statewide, 8% of children 5-11 have received at least one vaccine dose.

Among the state’s 10 counties with the most children 5-11, only Travis County (Austin) approaches El Paso’s vaccination rate.

COVID-19 vaccines for children 5-11 were approved earlier this month

The effort to push out childhood vaccinations in El Paso comes as COVID-19 infections are rising sharply, especially among those without full vaccine protection. El Paso reported more than 2,800 new cases this past week, the highest weekly total since the first week of February.

The sharpest increase has come among people ages 19 and younger. More than one in four cases the past two weeks have been in children under 12.

About seven in every 10 El Paso County COVID-19 infections in recent weeks have been among people not fully vaccinated against the virus.

Where to find the children’s COVID-19 vaccine in El Paso

Cover photo: A child received a COVID-19 vaccination on Nov. 3 at a clinic offered by The Hospitals of Providence. (Photo courtesy of The Hospitals of Providence)

Robert Moore

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986. His work has received a number of top journalism honors including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist and the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award. Moore’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, ProPublica, National Public Radio, The Guardian and other publications. He has been featured as an expert on border issues by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, CBC and PBS.

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