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SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Solano County health officials reported the first infant death caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the county Tuesday.

“Death from any cause in an infant is a horrible thing,” said Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas. “It’s very tragic. Unfortunately, we’ve had our first pediatric death from COVID, and it was in an infant, which makes it all the more painful and tragic.” 

Matyas could not comment on what city the infant was from or the gender but did tell FOX40 the strain of the coronavirus the child contracted.

“It was the delta variant, not the omicron variant. So, it’s the variant of COVID-19 that’s been circulating for quite some time,” Matyas said.

He advised that everyone who interacts with a child get vaccinated because a young child may not be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Those people who are eligible for vaccines, should be vaccinated. That creates a barrier to protect those who can’t be vaccinated,” Matyas explained. “And for an infant, that’s really the only means of protection that you can have.” 

But he said there are no guarantees and there is a randomness to every disease, despite people practicing safety precautions. 

He also said fatalities in young children are rare.

“I’m hoping that this is essentially a random situation, so that there is no reason to worry about it having to repeat anywhere,” Matyas said.

Matyas said with more people vaccinated this holiday season, he anticipates that any outbreaks caused by large family gatherings won’t be as severe as last year.