COVID-19 in NC: Nearly 15,000 kids ages 5-11 get 1st shot; 60% of state’s population now partially vaccinated

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FILE – In this Jan. 21, 2021, file photo, a medical staff member prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly 15,000 North Carolina children between 5 and 11 have gotten their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday added another 6,608 kids in that age group to the partial vaccination total while also saying 60 percent of the state’s total population has had at least one dose.

In less than a week since the vaccine was available to that age group, NCDHHS says 2 percent of the roughly 900,000 kids between 5-11 have had their first shot.

Also, some of the state’s COVID-19 numbers that had been falling fast now are beginning to level off.

NCDHHS reported 1,243 new cases and a count of hospitalized patients that has ticked up slightly after weeks of steep drops.

The agency says there were 1,097 patients in hospitals — a one-day increase of 27 and the second consecutive day with an incremental uptick. That daily total had dropped on 43 of the previous 44 days before that.

The count of new cases also caused the seven-day average number of new cases to increase slightly — notable only because of how far it fell during the previous month-plus. That averaged went up to 1,692, and while the increase of four appears trivial, keep in mind that number fell for 51 consecutive days — by an average of 110 cases per day — before Monday.

Another 19 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 18,336.

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