October 14, 2021
Media Contact: Breanne Forbes Hubbard, population health manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 276-759-8297
Mount Rogers Health District Provides Update on Vaccination Coverage Across District; 5-11 Year Old Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization Process
MARION, Va. – COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Mount Rogers Health District is substantially lower than the rest of the state.
Carroll County has the lowest vaccination percentage in the Commonwealth, with 39.2% of the population with at least one dose, and 45.6% of adults with at least one dose. However, even the localities in the district with the highest vaccine coverage are still far below state percentages.
“We know our communities are tired of COVID-19, are tired of quarantining, and are tired of the disruption to the normal school/after-school activities of their children,” said Breanne Forbes Hubbard, population health manager. “The absolute best way to ensure you and your family can prevent getting sick and avoid quarantine is to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are available at your local health department, many health care providers, and pharmacies.”
The biggest growth this week in vaccine percentage was first doses in 45-74 year olds, and fully vaccinated 18-44 year olds.
|Locality||1 dose total population||Fully vaccinated total population||1 dose adult population||Fully vaccinated adult population||1 dose 12-15 year olds||Fully vaccinated 12-15 year olds||1 dose 16-17 year olds||Fully vaccinated 16-17 year olds|
While all residents over age 12 are eligible for vaccination at this time, there is still not an authorized vaccine for those 11 and under. Parents and health care providers across the country are anxiously awaiting a vaccine for 5-11 year olds. There are several regulatory steps that must be completed prior to the Pfizer vaccine being authorized for 5-11 year olds. First, the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet, which is scheduled for October 26. After this meeting, the FDA could authorize the Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year olds. Then, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the advisory body to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is scheduled to meet on November 2 and 3. After this, the CDC may adopt guidance, at which point health care providers could begin administering the vaccine to 5-11 year olds.
It is important to note that the vaccine for 5-11 year olds is a smaller dose than what is given to those 12 and up, and this will require that the vaccine be produced and packaged in smaller vials. This means that the existing Pfizer vaccine in storage around the state for 12 and up cannot be used interchangeably with the vaccine for those 5-11, because of the smaller dose. Therefore, 5-11 year old vaccine vials will be produced and distributed across the country. The Virginia Department of Health and Mount Rogers Health District continue to work to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine across the state and the region.
“We hope to be able to begin vaccinating 5-11 year olds by the end of the week of November 1,” said Forbes Hubbard. “However, we know that there can be delays in a process that has so many moving parts. We are actively planning the best ways to make vaccine available to this population, as quickly as we can.”
For more information about COVID-19 vaccination, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine. For details on COVID-19 vaccination in Mount Rogers Health District, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/mount-rogers/.
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