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Pediatricians say we are one step closer to child vaccinations

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Doctors say the clock will soon start ticking for the Food and Drug Administration to review Pfizer’s data for approval.

“Typically, that’s taken about six weeks, and so we’re still predicting probably November,” Dr. Paige Perriello with the Pediatrics Associates of Charlottesville said. “Possibly even December, to be able to actually give kids the shots, so that’s sort of how the timeline works.”

Pfizer is in the process of submitting their data for the application for vaccine emergency use authorization. The FDA will the review the data and that’s when decisions are made about administering the vaccine.

“Even as eager as we are, we want this transparent scientific process to run its course so that we can all feel really assured about the vaccine once it comes out, which is what we expect,” Dr. Perriello said.

When it does come out, the rollout process may be a bit more complicated because of the age range of this group. Blue Ridge Health District hopes to partner with schools and kids programs, to help administer the vaccine, but pediatric trained nurses will need to be at mass vaccination sites.

“Five to 11 really is a little crowd that needs more hands-on care,” Jen Fleisher with BRHD said. “And so we want to honor the parents needs and make it a streamline for the kids. We want to reach as many people as possible, but in the way that most serves them, as possible.”

Pediatricians say though they are being patient with the process, it also cannot come soon enough.

“The cases are rising significantly in our area,” Perriello said. “We see a huge percentage of those in the under 12 year olds, which is not a surprise since that’s the unvaccinated group. It’s important for everyone to know that we are surging in our community, hospitals are very full.”

Pediatricians also say if you have any concerns or questions about your child getting the vaccine, it is crucial to ask your doctor now. That way, when the vaccine is ready, you and your kid will be ready too.

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