May 13, 2021 Update on Vaccine Rollout
Neighbors,

As mentioned in my newsletter yesterday, the county's top priority is getting our community vaccinated. We received great news late yesterday when the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that providers across the Commonwealth could begin vaccinating those aged 12-15 following federal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in adolescents. Previously, this vaccine was only authorized for ages 16 and older.

NOTE: The Virginia Department of Health authorized distribution of vaccines for ages 12 to 15 for walk-in appointments beginning Friday, May 14.


Here is what parents and guardians should know:


Parents and guardians can make an appointment through the county's Health Department. Go to the vaccine scheduling portal and search for “Pfizer.” Clinics across the area have appointment availability. The Tysons Community Vaccination Center is accepting adolescent appointments and walk-ins beginning May 14. Please note that a parent, guardian or another adult in place of the parent/guardian must accompany anyone under the age of 18 to their appointment at these Health Department sites.

People can also search for vaccine on Vaccines.gov or en español, Vacunas.gov or contact their own physician to see if they have vaccines available. Vaccination is free of charge; at some sites, you may be asked for health insurance information but there will never be an out-of-pocket cost for vaccine.

2.) Equity is at the core of the vaccination strategy in the Fairfax Health District
The Health Department is working with the school administrations of Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax-Falls Church Public Schools on strategies to ensure equity in access to vaccination for under-resourced students. Parents are encouraged to monitor their email and school announcements for information and updates.

3.) Information resources to get your questions answered
Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s pediatrician with questions.
Administration of the vaccine in adolescents will be the same as in adults: given in two doses, separated by 21 days. Adolescents are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose. Side effects in this age group included pain or redness in the arm where the vaccine is given, fatigue, fever and muscle aches.

Anyone who has questions about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can contact the Health Department’s COVID-19 information line at 703-267-3511.

Those interested in making COVID-19 vaccine appointments and are unable to do so via the Health Department’s online scheduler can schedule via phone by calling 703-324-7404.

Respectfully,
Walter

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