FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 19, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT, Logan Anderson, Vaccinate Virginia
Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Christy Gray on the CDC Expanding Eligibility of COVID-19 Boosters for Children 5–11 Years of Age and Strengthening Recommendation for Second COVID-19 Boosters
(RICHMOND, Va.) — Children in Virginia, ages 5–11 years, are now recommended for a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster if they completed their primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine five months ago or more. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has given the green light to providers in the Commonwealth to begin administering the booster dose immediately to eligible children.
On May 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a booster for children, ages 5–11, following the expansion of the pediatric vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier in the week.
The CDC gave the go-ahead to the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine on November 2, 2021. Since then, according to the VDH Vaccine Demographics dashboard, 316,571 children in Virginia, ages 5–11 years, had received at least one dose of vaccine as of May 17, representing 43.7% of the children ages 5–11 years. According to the data, 270,200 Virginia children (37.3%) in this age group are fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Currently, more than 144,606 children in Virginia, who were fully vaccinated as of December 17, 2021, are now eligible for a booster vaccination.
In addition, the CDC strengthened their recommendation that persons 12 years and older who are immunocompromised and those 50 years and older should get a second booster vaccine if it has been four months since their first booster.
The following is a statement from Virginia’s State Vaccination Coordinator and Director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Immunization Christy Gray, MPH:
“VDH urges parents to talk to their pediatrician or other healthcare provider about getting their child boosted. Vaccination helps to keep children from getting very sick, developing short- and long-term health problems, and reduce spread to loved ones and communities. COVID-19 cases are rising in Virginia and this is a step parents can take to continue their child’s protection. The best way for parents to protect their children is through vaccination, which we urge parents to consider for their children’s safety and well-being.
“As COVID-19 cases are rising in Virginia, VDH urges those eligible for a second booster vaccine to talk to their healthcare provider to ensure continued protection against severe illness.”
Those who are unvaccinated and without a booster remain at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. This population remains VDH’s top priority. Everyone five years or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccination opportunities near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.