VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Faoud Kefel, 12, got his second Pfizer shot at College Park Elementary in Virginia Beach Monday.
“Me knowing that I’m fully vaccinated, I know that I’m safe,” Kefel told News 3. “I think it’s right to get the COVID vaccine.”
He and his family are on vacation from Fairfax, but they want to make sure he's all ready for the first day of school.
“We want to go back to life as normal, but the only way we can do that is to get vaccinated,” Faoud’s father, Hassan Sesay, said. “I just have to continue wearing my mask, and hopefully this coronavirus goes away sooner than later.”
This week, Virginia Beach health officials and Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) leaders are teaming to hold clinics throughout the week at schools around the city for anyone wanting a shot.
“We’ve got enough vaccine [and] we can do everyone that needs to be vaccinated,” Bob Engle, emergency coordinator with the Virginia Beach Dept. of Health told News 3.
Engle said the clinics are marketed especially for students to get their second dose and be immune before the first bell.
“The school year is rapidly approaching, and there’s a lot of concern from parents - and rightly so - about sending their kids to school,” Engle said.
Engle added the Delta variant, as well as Virginia Beach being labeled an area with a high level of community transmission by the CDC, has led to more people lining up to get their shot.
“There for a while, the numbers were really on a decline and dwindling, but we’re starting to see the uptick with cases in the Virginia Beach area,” he said. “The numbers are increasing because people are changing their mind and coming to get the vaccine.”
Meanwhile, News 3 got a statement from Pfizer on the status of their shot related to children younger than 12 years old:
In June 2021, Pfizer and BioNTech initiated a Phase 2/3 study to further evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of BNT162b2 in preventing COVID-19 in healthy children between the ages of 6 months to 11 years old. The companies expect to have the safety and immunogenicity data that could potentially support an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in children ages 5 to 11 years old, if such an EUA is deemed necessary, by the end of September. The full dataset from this study, which will be required to support licensure in this age group, is expected by the end of 2021. Similar data packages will be submitted shortly thereafter to support EUA and licensure in children 6 months to 5 years of age.
“The more we can immunize, the better,” Dr. Douglas Mitchell, CHKD Medical Group medical director said.
Dr. Mitchell added that if it’s determined to be safe and effective, younger kids should roll up their sleeves.
“We should continue to do everything we can to prevent the spread,” he said. "That includes vaccinations [and] that includes masking. Vaccinations are safe.”
Here’s a list of other clinics being held at schools across Virginia Beach:
- Tuesday, Aug. 3 | Green Run Elementary, 1200 Green Garden Circle
- Wednesday, Aug. 4 | Birdneck Elementary, 957 S Birdneck Road
- Thursday, Aug. 5 | Bayside Middle School, 965 Newtown Road
Engle said they’re accepting both appointments and walk-ins at the clinics this week. For more information on setting up an appointment, click here.