Allegheny County officials hopeful children will soon have COVID-19 vaccine option as cases rise

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County officials said they’re hopeful that children 12 years old and younger will soon have an option to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

At a news conference Wednesday, both County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said they are glad to see that students and teachers will be wearing masks this school year. On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued a mask mandate for all school districts across the state, starting on Tuesday.

“I support what the governor and the Department of Health at the state level are doing,” Fitzgerald said. “Schools have been able to open more successfully.”

Bogen said they are seeing rising numbers of cases in children.

“It really is tragic to lose more people when we have the tool to prevent it,” Bogen said. “The start of a new school year also means the start of events that can lead to more cases such as sporting events and parties.”

Officials also said Wednesday that June, July and August had the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Those numbers were attributed to the large number of people who’ve been vaccinated.