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Surry hosts vaccine clinic for ages 5-11

Surry County Public Schools partnered with the Crater Health District to host a Nov. 20 vaccination clinic for students ages 5 and up to receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Second doses for students ages 12-18, seasonal flu shots and booster doses for adults were also available. Parents who wished to vaccinate their children were required to download and sign a consent form on the school system’s website or register online, and students ages 17 and under were required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

According to Tara Rose, a spokeswoman for the Crater Health District, the clinic administered 21 COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5-11 and another 39 to students ages 12-18 and adults, a total of 60 doses.

Flu shots were also available on a first-come, first-served basis, with 30 doses administered.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave final clearance on Nov. 2 for the Pfizer vaccine’s use in children ages 5-11, four days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization. The pediatric vaccine is one-third the adult dosage.

The adult version received full FDA approval in August for ages 16 and up, and remains under emergency use authorization for ages 12-15. The pediatric and adult versions both require two doses administered at least 21 days apart.

Isle of Wight County Schools surveyed parents the first week of November to gauge interest in an in-school clinic for ages 5-11. According to IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs, 300 parents preferred an evening clinic in a central location where parents could accompany their children, another 178 preferred in-school clinics with a parent present and 90 parents preferred in-school clinics without parents needing to accompany their children.

But no clinics have been scheduled yet.  Briggs attributed this to staffing shortages at Rite Aid, which had previously partnered with IWCS to vaccinate students ages 12 and up.

The Crater Health District will return to Surry County High School on Dec. 11 to administer second doses. According to Rose, there will also be staff on site to administer first doses to those who didn’t make the first clinic, and to help those people find an alternate site for their second dose. Booster doses (Pfizer only) and flu shots will also be available.

To register their children for the Dec. 11 clinic, parents must again submit a signed consent form or register online at https://bit.ly/3ni3QGz for students ages 5-11 or https://bit.ly/3290aPz for students age 12 and up. Students under age 18 must again be accompanied by a parent or guardian the day of the clinic.