New River Health District could see Pfizer’s vaccine for kids 5-11 in less than a week

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:57 PM EDT
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - The New River Health District is getting ready to receive the COVID-10 vaccine for ages 5 to 11 in about a week.

To prepare, the district sent out a survey to families, asking them what’s the best way to get their children vaccinated.

The district reports survey results show almost 60% of parents want to get their kids vaccinated.

“That’s got to be an individual decision for each family,” said Dr. Noelle Bissell, the director for the New River Health District.

The district says out of about 700 responses---a fair number want their kids to be vaccinated at school, at a pharmacy, or their local pediatrician office.

“I would say that there’s a number that do want them vaccinated at schools just because it does make it easier for parents who are working, but there are a fair number of parents who would prefer to take their children to a pharmacy, after hours or on a weekend or go to their local pediatrician. So that’s why we’re really trying to get the vaccine out there,” said Bissell.

Dr. Bissell expects about 2700 doses of the Pfizer vaccines doses to arrive this week after the FDA meets Tuesday-- anticipating more to arrive by the hundreds in the upcoming weeks.

She says the survey results also show there are some families who simply don’t want to get their kids vaccinated.

“They feel like it’s too early. They feel like the children are at lower risk. And then there are some who I think to want to wait a little bit and see, just like we saw with when we first rolled out the vaccines, not unlike we had those who really wanted to get them and then some of those who were kind of in that wait and see,” said Bissell.

For those wondering about the Moderna vaccine, Bissell says its data collection is a little behind Pfizer’s.

“I do know Moderna had put in the data for the 12- to 17-year-olds, and remember Moderna was also put in for the full authorization just like the Pfizer did. And so I suspect that those will be the things that will be considered at the next FDA meeting. I think Pfizer was just ahead. Remember it was the first vaccine to come out and in the way they had collected their data and broken it down, made it a little bit more accelerated for them,” said Bissell.

The district plans to leave the vaccine survey up for the rest of the week, so parents can give their input on how vaccines should be administered in the weeks ahead. Parents and families can take the survey here.

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