West Virginia firms up plans for getting COVID-19 vaccines to kids ages 5 through 11

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As with many states, West Virginia is anticipating full approval of vaccines for children ages 5 through 11. The state has already preordered 50,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

It involves a different mixture than the adult doses, but public health leaders believe it will be available after the full FDA and CDC panels approve its use, which could come next week.

“These have been tested. This is one of the most widely spread medications, as far as testing in the history of the world. So, know that you’re giving your kid a very high-quality vaccine that could potentially save their life,” said Dr. Sherri Young, of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

One potential problem may be reluctance by young patients and parents to get the shots. In West Virginia, more than 90% of the elderly population is fully vaccinated. But those ages 16 to 20 are 49% vaccinated. And the youngest eligible group, ages 12 through 15 only 38% of them are fully-vaccinated. Public health officials encourage parents to have a talk with their family doctor.

“When parents can go to their own pediatricians, their own doctors, they can ask the proper questions and get proper information. And I do think with given time and proper questioning, that parents can get the information for their children,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, West Virginia Public Health Officer.

There are likely vaccination clinics planned for schools, as well as sporting events and other after-school activities where a lot of children are present.

“As for exactly when vaccines will be available for 5 to 11-year-olds, health officials say shots could go in arms, within days of the final federal approval,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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