HealthVirginia

Virginia health districts are ready to vaccinate children 5-11

By Maria Paula

Since the introduction of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccination two weeks ago in Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD), approximately 200, 7.2% children from Henrico and 1000, 6.8%, children from Richmond have
received their first doses of the vaccine. Children aged 5-11 years old and adults seeking their introductory and booster COVID-19
immunizations, respectively, are eligible for walk-in appointments in the area.

RHHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities, with a mission to expose and address the root causes of
health disparities, to protect health by foiling the spread of disease, and to build health equity by partnering with communities and working
collaboratively across sectors.

To avoid any potential shortage and supply issues, all Richmond and Henrico COVID-19 vaccination clinics are reporting that they are fully equipped with enough stock following initial shipment of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines.

Elsewhere, additional appointments are also accessible at the Community Vaccination Clinic (CVC) of the Virginia Department of Health in NewportvNews situated at Sherwood Shopping Center, 13785 Warwick Boulevard. They are open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., with the last vaccines administered at 7:30 pm.

“We strongly urge parents to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinating kids is the best way to keep them safe and healthy
to avoid missing school due to a quarantine, and prevent exposure to more vulnerable community members,” said Amy Popovich, nurse manager at
RHHD.

RHHD requests that parents book appointments for their children’s primary vaccine series or adult boosters as individuals or in groups to ensure an easy experience for the visiting families.

Children and young adults between 5 and 18 years are eligible for thebPfizer COVID-19 vaccine while those over 18 can get their first, second, and third doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, single Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as all three boosters.

The Johnson & Johnson booster vaccine is recommended for those over 18 and were vaccinated two or more months ago. Moderna and Pfizer boosters are on the other hand available to individuals who received the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine six or more months ago and are:

· Are 65 years old and above
· Over 18 and with underlying medical conditions
· Live or work in a high risk setting like healthcare practitioners, first responders, teachers, grocery store workers, postal
employees, amongst others.

As of Nov. 16, all seeking their first or booster doses and meet the qualification criteria can walk in to RHHD clinics and get the required services.

The previous appointment policy was flexible and accommodated walk-ins depending on the clinical capacity, failure to which they would be scheduled onsite for an appointment occurring on a later day.

“After a couple of weeks in offering pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, our teams have more experience running pediatric clinics and a better sense of demand and clinic flow. We are now confidently able to offer all of our appointments to walk-ups and hope this makes the process more easy and accessible,” explained a Public Health Nurse, Joanna Cirillo.

Most clinics have all the different types of COVID-19 vaccines available although individuals should look for a clinic that offers the type of
vaccine they are seeking.

Anyone interested in booking an appointment can visit Newport News CVC website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) for assistance available in English, and more than 100 other languages. Also visit http://www.vaccinate.virginia.gov [1] for a list of other locations offering free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Also, vaccination rates among children are now available on the VDH dashboard [2].

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