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Richmond health officials hopeful COVID-19 vaccine supply for kids 5-11 won’t become an issue

More booster approvals and mixing and matching could start as early as next week
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 3:13 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond health leaders are working with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Virginia Department of Health, to get vaccine supply for 5 to 11-year-olds.

Why is this an issue now, even with no approval yet?

“There is less of it around than there will be of the regular Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, Richmond - Henrico Health Districts.

Doctor Viray says Pfizer’s vaccine for younger kids comes in a smaller dose and is shipped separately from the COVID-19 vaccines the rest of the adults get. Currently, health officials hope there won’t be any issues getting that supply into the area because they’re stocking up now.

When that 5 to 11-year-old vaccine approval does come, Dr. Viray says things will move very quickly, and eager parents should be looking for appointments when time comes.

“Once you see appointments opening up, I would say it might be a good idea to go ahead and make that appointment just so you have that locked in place,” said Dr. Viray.

If approved, health officials say booster doses Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, as well as mixing and matching vaccines, could start as early as next week.

Viray says potentially picking which booster comes with responsibility. Talk to your health care provider about the options and do some research.

“I don’t think the intent from CDC or FDA is to leave folks with this sort of gamete of choices and say, ‘here you go.’ I think there will be guidance from CDC and ACIP to help folks understand what the pros and cons are either to discuss with their provider or to make an educated decision,” said Dr. Viray.

An estimated 600,000 Virginians would become eligible for boosters if they are approved for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. Pfizer boosters are already available in the state for those who qualify.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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