Virginia awaiting CDC approval before vaccinating kids ages 12-15
FDA expanded emergency use of Pfizer vaccine Monday
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday expanded its emergency use authorization of the Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages 12 and older, Virginia will wait for action from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before administering shots to adolescents, state vaccination coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said Monday night.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is expected to meet Wednesday and make a recommendation to the CDC on expanding use of the vaccine, which is currently limited to people age 16 and older. ”
“While this is an exciting first step toward offering this vaccine and its protection to more than 400,000 Virginians, we must await additional federal approval before doing so,” Avula said in a statement. “Virginia would not begin offering the vaccine to those 12 and older until the CDC approves doing so.”
Avula said that the state has already begun working with school systems, local health districts, pediatricians and pharmacies to plan for the expansion, which has been in the works for several weeks, following successful testing of adolescents.
As of Monday, 4,019,296 people in Virginia, or 47.1% of the population, have received at least one vaccine dose, and 3,000,047, 35.1% of the state, are fully vaccinated, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The state has recorded 666,986 COVID cases and 10,902 since March 2020, and the current seven-day positivity rate is 4.3%. In recent weeks, spread of the virus has declined, and Gov. Ralph Northam has announced some lifting of restrictions in May and June if conditions remain favorable.