Loudoun County is able to begin scheduling appointments for adolescents aged 12 to 15 years old, who may now receive the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced its approval, which came just hours after federal approval was granted.
The emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech previously covered only those aged 16 and older. Two other vaccines are available only to those 18 years of age and older.
Dr. Danny Avula, vaccination coordinator for Virginia, said the FDA’s emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 years old and older is an exciting step.
Avula said Virginia already had begun planning for the expansion of vaccine availability to the age group, including having discussions with local health districts, school systems, pediatricians and other physicians, as well as partner pharmacies.
Loudoun officials said parents can make an appointment at the Loudoun County Health Department clinic by going online and following the steps for scheduling an appointment in the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) for the Dulles Town Center location.
Anyone who needs assistance making an appointment, such as those who do not have access to the internet, should call the COVID-19 Information Line at 703-737-8300, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Individuals ages 12 to 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The vaccination site continues to operate by appointment only. All individuals who would like to be vaccinated must have an appointment.
The immune response to the vaccine in 190 trial study participants, 12 through 15 years of age — part of a broader trial study — was at least as good as compared to the immune response of 170 participants, 16 through 25 years of age, according to FDA efficacy data.
An analysis of COVID-19 cases occurring in the seven days after the second dose was administered to participants in the 12-15 years of age cohort was also conducted. In that analysis of participants without evidence of prior infection with SARS-CoV-2, no cases of COVID-19 occurred among 1,005 vaccine recipients and 16 cases of COVID-19 occurred among 978 placebo recipients.
The vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 among those ages 12–15, the data showed.
At this time, there are limited data to address whether the vaccine can prevent transmission of the virus from person to person. In addition, at this time, data are not available to determine how long the vaccine will provide protection, the FDA said.
Vaccination clinic in Ashburn on Saturday
George Washington University will host a vaccination clinic at GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn on Saturday to help those families, as well as GW students, faculty, and staff that need to be vaccinated to return to campus in the fall, according to Timothy Pierce, spokesperson for GW.
The clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 44983 Knoll Square in Ashburn. People can register for an appointment by visiting www.mydrspharmacy.com/schedule-vaccine-gw.
Pierce said the event will be open to those 12 years of age and older once the vaccine had been approved for use in the younger age group.
Pierce said there will be 1,000 doses available. A second vaccination event will also be held on June 5 to distribute the second dose for each person.
Nursing students from GW, in collaboration with My Dr.’s Pharmacy in Herndon, will staff the clinic.
GW Nursing has been working with My Dr.’s Pharmacy through a community collaboration since early March.