The Loudoun County Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments for children ages 5 to 11, following approval by the Virginia Department of Health.
“Beginning to vaccinate children under the age of 12 is an important milestone in the pandemic as this will help to further slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, improve the safety of the school environment and ultimately bring an end to the pandemic,” said Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “The vaccine is proven safe and effective in this age group, so I encourage parents to get their kids vaccinated before the upcoming holidays when family and friends often gather indoors, which increases the risk of exposure to and spread of the virus.”
Those interested in getting their children vaccinated at the county’s Dulles Town Center site can schedule an appointment online at loudoun.gov/5493/Schedule-a-Vaccine-Appointment. The first available appointments for the 5-to-11 age group will be on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Anyone who needs assistance making an appointment, such as those who do not have access to the internet, can call the COVID-19 Information Line at 703-737-8300 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
People under 18 who have an appointment for a vaccination must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Public health officials recommend getting children vaccinated as soon as possible once they become eligible to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The bulk of COVID-19 cases in Loudoun County are currently among 5- to-11-year-old children. Goodfriend said vaccinating children may also help blunt an expected rise in cases with the arrival of cold weather.
The state health department’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children follows a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. It contains the same active ingredient as the vaccine that has been administered to millions of Americans over the past year, but is provided in a lower dose.
Loudoun County health officials expect that demand for the COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11 will initially outpace supply and will limit the number of appointments available in the early days of the vaccination effort. As vaccine supplies increase through the month of November, more appointments will open up, they said.
Other vaccine providers in Loudoun County, such as medical offices and retail pharmacies, are also expected to being offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children. Those providers can be found either through the pediatrician’s office or online at vaccines.gov.
Vaccinations are free of charge for everyone regardless of immigration status or health insurance. More information about COVID-19 vaccines is online at loudoun.gov/COVID19vaccine.