How each Northern Va. jurisdiction fares in vaccinating kids 5 to 11

The percentage of the youngest children eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 who have received at least one shot varies widely by jurisdiction in Northern Virginia, according to Virginia Department of Health numbers compiled by WTOP.

Six weeks after children between the ages of 5 to 11 were authorized to receive a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, 27.1% of children statewide had received at least one dose as of Wednesday night, Dec. 15.

As with adults, most local jurisdictions far exceed the statewide average for administering at least one dose to children between 5 and 11.

More than 66% of children in the city of Falls Church have received a vaccine, followed by 51.9% in Arlington County.

Loudoun County has given shots to 41.8%, and Fairfax County has reached 40.1%.

On the other end of the spectrum, Manassas Park has administered the vaccine to only 14.2% of children, the lowest number in Northern Virginia.

“When I look at those numbers, based on the kind of tepid response that we had at the beginning of the vaccine rollout, I think you’re seeing something more or less similar,” said Virginia Del. Danica Roem, a Democrat who represents the 13th District, which includes Manassas Park and the Prince William County portions of Haymarket, Gainesville, and Manassas.

While Roem said she “would certainly like to see our numbers increase here,” she believes more parents will have their children vaccinated.

“I think a lot of folks want to see how other folks who get their children vaccinated, how the kids are doing,” Roem said.

While parents may be required by their employers to get vaccinated, that’s not the case with young children: “You don’t have that similar pressure that’s being applied,” Roem said.

In addition, Manassas Park’s population includes a large immigrant community. “You have to have a very robust outreach that goes directly into communities,” Roem said, including information and resources in Spanish.

Dr. Alison Ansher, health director for the Prince William Health District, said the community engagement team is canvassing in the community to provide information. Mobile clinics also are being brought to the community.

Ansher said some residents “are not so comfortable on the state vaccination site or going to pharmacies,” so mobile clinics are being utilized.

Online scheduling at the mass vaccination sites at the former Gander Mountain store in Woodbridge and at Manassas Mall is available for all residents 5 and older.

In addition, the Prince William Health District, which is part of Virginia’s Department of Health, will be holding after-school clinics at some schools to make vaccines easier to obtain.

In Manassas Park, for one, Cougar Elementary is hosting a free vaccination clinic for walk-ins on Saturday, Dec. 18.

Roem said she is confident the outreach will eventually raise the vaccination numbers for the youngest residents, as it did for adults.

”Our numbers in Manassas Park are now doing much better, with 74.6% of adults at least partially vaccinated, and 68.4% fully vaccinated,” said Roem. “It’s just an encouragement — please, please, please get vaccinated, so you’ll be taking care of yourself and the community.”

Here are the Virginia Department of Health numbers, as of Wednesday evening, for children between the ages of 5 to 11 who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Alexandria City        38.5%
  • Arlington Co.           51.9%
  • Culpeper Co.           19.2%
  • Fairfax Co.               40.1%
  • Fairfax city               33.0%
  • Falls Church city      66.6%
  • Fauquier Co.            21.2%
  • Fredericksburg city  20.7%
  • Loudoun Co.            41.8%
  • Manassas city         17.7%
  • Manassas Park       14.2%
  • Prince William Co.   24.6%
  • Spotsylvania Co.     17.3%
  • Stafford Co.             19.3%
  • Statewide                27.1%

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.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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