RICHMOND, Va. — Jennifer Anderson eagerly waits for news from the government.
Her 9-year-old daughter Zoey, a 4th grader in Henrico Schools, is the lone holdout in her family to get their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My goal is to keep my family as safe as possible,” Anderson explained. “It’s been scary, and I really prefer to get the whole household vaccinated and breathe a little easier.”
On Wednesday, the White House unveiled plans to rollout COVID-19 vaccines for children ages five through 11-years-old. They’ve secured enough vaccine supply to vaccinate 28 million children in that age range with the Pfizer shot, according to federal officials.
The plan is to help equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices.
Pharmacist Dr. Leighton Mascari leads Bremo Pharmacy’s vaccination efforts on Staples Mill Road.
“We do plan on getting the allotments for the pediatric Pfizer doses that are coming out,” Dr. Mascari said.
The FDA and CDC must first give the green light for child COVID-19 vaccines, which is expected sometime in November. Vaccine advisers to the FDA are scheduled to meet next week.
Since then, the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts have surveyed pharmacies, like Bremo, to determine how many doses they would be able to administer to children when the time comes.
“We have a certain amount of pharmacists, certain amount of space for the kids to come in. We are working with the health department to make that happen,” Mascari stated.
Pfizer said last month that vaccine was safe and generated a “robust” antibody response in children ages five through 11-years old. Recent trials involving children have used a third of the amount of an adult dose.
"We still haven’t seen it come out yet and how it’s going to be labeled and allotted, but we will have an allotment specifically for pediatrics," Mascari explained.
Yet, Dr. Mascari recognized that some parents may be hesitant to give their youngest a COVID-19 shot.
“I encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. We are seeing younger and younger ages affected by the virus,” she said.
CBS 6’s Brendan King asked Anderson how she would react if the vaccine was available for her daughter by tomorrow.
“I would be the first one in line,” she responded.
Virginians age 12+ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Pre-registration is no longer required, so go to Vaccine Finder to search for specific vaccines available near you or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343).
Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.
These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.