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VDH provides youth vaccine data

More than 260 children ages 5 to 11 in the Western Tidewater Health District, as well as Surry County, have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since it became available through the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization last week.

In Suffolk, 193 children, representing 2.3% of all children in the 5 to 11 age group, have received their first dose, while 51 children in Isle of Wight County (1.7%), 13 children in Southampton County (1%) 5 in Surry County (1.3%)  and 4 in Franklin (0.5%) have done so, according to the Virginia Department of Health, which began reporting the data Nov. 10.

Surry County is in the Crater Health District.

The new dashboard, updated daily, also gives the total vaccinations and the percentages for people ages 5 to 17, ages 5 and up, 18 and up and 65 and up.

Among those ages 5 to 17, 7,100 children in the health district and in Surry have received at least one dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. That includes 4,428 in Suffolk (27.7%), 1,627 in Isle of Wight (28.2%), 502 in Southampton (19.8%), 327 in Franklin (23.1%) and 216 in Surry (28%)

“So far, we’ve seen high interest among parents of young children who want to get them protected from COVID-19,” said state vaccine coordinator Dr. Danny Avula in a statement. “This is an important step in keeping our children safe from severe disease. It also helps decrease disruptions at school because children won’t have to be pulled out of classes for quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.”

About 723,000 Virginia children ages 5 to 11 became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine upon approval of the emergency use authorization. As of Nov. 10, 35,227 children have received their first dose of the vaccine.

Statewide, 11,900,269 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, with 84% of adults having had at least one dose of vaccine and 75.5% of adults fully vaccinated.

Appointments are required for vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 except at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk and Sears at Valley View Mall in Roanoke.

Appointments are encouraged for adults, though community vaccination centers do accept walk-ins. To find free vaccines nearby, check with your healthcare provider, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.