Local parents react to White House's plans for Pfizer vaccine rollout for children 5-11

Child receiving vaccine.PNG
Posted at 5:46 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 22:41:44-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The White House is preparing to roll out Pfizer vaccines for children ages 5-11.

The Virginia Department of Health tells us they're seeing a surge of positive COVID-19 cases in children in this age group.

The Biden administration is working to endure widespread availability of shots once the Pfizer dose is approved for children, and safety experts have signed off on the vaccine for kids.

Samantha Lester, a concerned Chesapeake parent, said, "Soon as the vaccine is available for 5-11 years old, our 10-year-old will be getting the vaccine."

Lester is a parent of three. Although her 12-year-old is already vaccinated, she's ready to see the same for her 10-year-old son.

"I do think more needs to be done, especially from the state level because a lot of local school systems are overwhelmed or don't have the motivation to try to come up with new ideas" said Lester.

The Virginia Department of Health saw a peak in COVID-19 cases among children in September, but just last week, numbers show that more than 3,000 kids in Virginia tested positive for COVID-19.

"On our own volition, we're submitting ourselves to weekly COVID testing because we want to know if we have the disease, especially when were asymptomatic like we are right now" said Lester.

Brandy Darby, VDH veterinary epidemiologist, tells News 3, "Children don't seem to have quite as severe illness as adults do, but that doesn't mean that there necessarily bulletproof and invincible because we definitely can see severe outcomes like hospitalizations and deaths in children."

With the rollout of the vaccine, federal regulators will meet over the next few weeks to weigh the benefits of giving shots to kids after lengthy studies meant to ensure the safety of the vaccines.

"The timeline we've been working with is we're hoping that something will be available before Thanksgiving. If that plays out along that timeline, it's still to be seen, but that's what we're hoping for," said Darby.

Related: Virginia vaccine coordinator weighs in on Pfizer seeking COVID vaccine approval for kids ages 5-11

According to health officials, kids who do get their first shot in November will be fully vaccinated by Christmas.

Click her for our full COVID vaccination guide.