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Appalachia Health News tells the story of our health challenges and how we overcome them throughout the region. 

W.Va. Prepares Vaccination Plans For Kids 12-15 In Anticipation Of Pfizer Approval

Doctor vaccinating little girl in hospital. Health care
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Youth in West Virginia ages 12-15 may soon have access to the Pfizer vaccine. The company is waiting on the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the use of its vaccine in this age group.

State and local health officials are on stand-by to make sure kids can get the vaccine as soon as possible, following authorization. The West Virginia Department of Education has already brought vaccine clinics to most high schools in the state, hoping to target students ages 16-18.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch said in a press conference earlier this week that schools will keep up the same momentum for younger kids.

“We will ensure that there is a partnership and a way to make sure that any child, hopefully soon, down to 12 years old, will have the opportunity to have the vaccination,” Burch said.

He also encouraged other organizations in the state to get involved. “We welcome all partners that are doing testing and vaccinations; we are now open, we want it to be for all.”

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department announced Wednesday that it’s working on preparations for a COVID-19 vaccination plan for kids in Kanawha County.

The health department said it would be ready to enter schools as early as next week, and it will also provide shots at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center as early as Saturday, May 15 and at other sites for students.

“We continue to see a significant portion of our COVID-19 cases in young people, so vaccinating those ages 12 through 15 should cut down on disease spread in the county,” said Dr. Sherri Young, health officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, in a press release. “We will be ready to go once the FDA gives the green light.”

Pfizer previously reported clinical trials showing its vaccine provides "100 percent efficacy and robust antibody responses” in the 12-15 age group.


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