New River Valley could see Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for young children by October

The health department plans to then host vaccination clinics in schools once the FDA approves

NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. – Children may soon roll up their sleeves now that Pfizer announces its coronavirus vaccine is effective for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Since school started, COVID cases are on the rise.

Data from the New River Valley shows a steady increase among 5 to 17-year-olds.

Though 70% of COVID transmission comes from the household spread, New River Health District Director Dr. Noelle Bissell said vaccines for children could be critical in combating the pandemic.

“Young children are at low risk from COVID-19 but not no risk,” she said. “And it can have long-term effects in children that can come up months or even years after the actual infection.”

Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Pfizer’s data, Bissell said vaccines can show up in the New River Valley as early as October.

The health department plans to then host vaccination clinics in schools.

Parents will have to grant permission for their child to receive a vaccine.

The child dosage is one-third of the amount that is used for adults which could help staff when distributing vaccines.

“So we’d get more pediatric doses out of a vial,” she said. “Right now, we get six doses out a vial of Pfizer.

This can be helpful for healthcare workers as they continue to feel pressure in the hospitals.

“Our emergency staff is not only taking care of people who come into the emergency department but they also have to house people that are waiting for beds.”

About the Author:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.