VDH working with school division and pediatricians to get COVID-19 shots to children

VDH working with school division and pediatricians to get COVID-19 shots to children

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health says the plan to get children inoculated, once the time comes, is to rely on schools and pediatricians to get the job done.

Pfizer is readying its vaccine for those aged 12 to 15 and even younger children could get the vaccine this fall. If approved, the state vaccine coordinator says it’s possible to see those between 12 and 15 getting a Pfizer vaccine by the end of next week.

Dr. Danny Avula says the state began planning a few weeks ago by having local health departments reach out to school division and pediatrician offices. When ready, those aged 12 to 15 will be able to get a vaccine through pharmacies and health clinics with the other two options becoming more viable by the summer.

“I think there are like very practical benefits that will compel a lot of people to choose to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Vaccine Coordinator.

Avula says school districts are experienced in doing on-site vaccinations already for the flu vaccine or other required shots each year.

“I think it’s very likely that many schools systems around the state do host on-site vaccination efforts that either the school runs or they partner with a local health department or local pedestrian office or pharmacy to come on site and administer vaccines,” said Avula.

But they are also aware of the vaccine hesitancy out there, especially when dealing with children, and the challenges ahead of the state.

“This is less about protecting yourself and more about protecting your community, not transmitting it to someone who is more vulnerable,” said Avula.

He adds that if your child is on a sports team or may be in a crowded classroom this fall, you will want to weigh the benefits of getting the vaccine. If exposed, the kid could be in quarantine for up to 14 days.

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