Some local 12- to 15-year-olds could receive COVID-19 vaccines this week

How soon could D.C.-area children 12 to 15 years old get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after it received emergency use authorization? It could be as early as this week.

Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination coordinator, said while there are a few hoops to jump through, shots could be going into arms soon.

“Really by Thursday or Friday, it’s pretty realistic that vaccine will be available to those who are 12 to 15 years old,” Avula said.

Virginia ordered a significant supply of the Pfizer vaccine this past week in anticipation of its emergency authorization approval, Avula said.

He added that Virginia has been working with school systems for several weeks in hopes of getting children vaccines in schools before the year ends. Avula said

“But these students and their families will have lots of opportunities to get vaccinated right now. There is plenty supply of Pfizer,” Avula said.

As to whether parents will be motivated to get their kids the Pfizer vaccine, Avula said he’s optimistic.

“My hope is that people recognize the inherent benefits to vaccination, not only are you protecting each individual from contracting COVID, but also the communal benefit,” he said.

There are about 425,000 children aged 12 to 15 years old in Virginia.

Prince William Health District Director Dr. Alison Ansher said in a statement that when final approval is given, eligible children can get the shot at multiple locations, including at the vaccination site at the old Gander Mountain store in Woodbridge.

Other clinics include those at CVS Pharmacy, Safeway, Mason and Partner Clinic and Manassas Mall. The school system will help with communication and transportation for families, Ansher said.

A statement from Maryland Department of Health said it welcomes the Pfizer news and will work closely with providers to prepare for vaccinating kids in the age group. Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan said that as soon as the Pfizer vaccine was approved, the state would ramp up vaccinations and help get children get the vaccine at schools.

Officials in Montgomery County said they’re already planning strategies to vaccinate young people, and it could involve clinics on school grounds.

Children’s National Hospital recently opened a COVID-19 vaccine preregistration website for residents of D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland, who are aged 12 to 15.

If a parent has a child aged 12 or older who is interested in receiving the vaccine through Children’s, they must first be preregistered through the site. The hospital will then reach out the family once their child becomes eligible.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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