ROANOKE, Va. – Children as young as 12 in our region could start getting the COVID-19 vaccine in a matter of days.
On Monday, the FDA gave Pfizer’s shot the greenlight for kids ages 12 to 15.
Even with this approval, there are a couple more hoops to jump through, including approval from both the CDC and VDH.
Planning is already underway between the local health district and schools as parents are getting ready for their kids to start rolling up their sleeves.
“I would like to see how it starts out,” said Jennifer Flora, a mother who supports getting vaccinated.
Flora’s two children are many years away from vaccine eligibility at this point, but her mind is already made up.
“I would get them vaccinated, for sure,” Flora said. “I have more concerns about them getting sick than I do the vaccination.”
“I want it approved for everybody as soon as possible,” said Katie Feldmann, a grandmother who supports getting vaccinated. “I’m thinking that it’s time for everyone to do their part and it’s selfish not to. It puts other people at risk.”
If it does get full approval, Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts director Dr. Cynthia Morrow said might be a challenge getting these kids vaccinated, given what they’ve seen with clinics for children 16 and older so far.
“The uptick at our school-sponsored vaccine clinics has not been as robust as we were hopeful,” Morrow said.
Still, though, planning is already underway to move younger students into those clinics.
“We’re trying to make it as convenient as possible. We want to do everything in our power to optimize our vaccine rates,” Morrow said.
The easiest way to do that may be at school, so they’re making a push to get students vaccinated before summer and allowing parents to give consent electronically so they don’t have to be present for their child’s appointment.
More vaccines, hopefully leading to a more normal life for children next school year. “We just have to do it. It’s been a long year. We’ve all worked hard and we need to finish it off,” Feldman said.
The challenge with school clinics will be getting students in for both doses as the school year winds down but at this point, lots of pharmacies and doctors’ offices are well-stocked with vaccine supply.