Are schools prepared to roll out COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds?


Anaiya Layland, 12, receives her first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination as her mother, Ashlesha Patel, observes at the Cook County Public Health Department, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Des Plaines, Ill. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – With the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for the age group of 5 to 11 still pending, are schools in West Virginia prepared for the rollout?

In Kanawha County, schools are working with the Kanawha Charleston Health Department on just how many vaccines the health department should prepare for.

“We’ve already given them preliminary enrollment numbers for each elementary school as well as each middle school, the 11-year-olds that would be eligible in the middle schools as well. We’ve given them the numbers so that they can prepare to order the appropriate dose,” said Alicia Warden, the head nurse for KCS.

There are approximately 10,800 kids aged 5 to 11 enrolled in Kanawha County Schools. Warden says they haven’t planned clinics for the age group yet, but when they do it will be similar to their flu clinics.

“With flu shot clinics we would have it scheduled over several weeks so we would typically do maybe two schools in a day, they would have a clinic in the morning then they would change locations to the second and the school nurses just collaborate with their teammates and jump in where needed,” said Warden.

It’s a similar situation at Putnam County Schools. They told 13 News in a statement, “Much like we did with the pending approval of vaccines for children 12 years of age and older, Putnam County Schools plans to put out a parent survey. to give us an idea of how many parents/families are interested. This will also help PCS plan clinics pending FDA approval.”

We did talk with other school districts across the state, and many are still waiting on guidance from the county and state levels. School leaders like Warden said collaboration is key.

“We’re fortunate to have this collaborative relationship with our health department to try to reach the community and help get the word out there and these vaccines out to eligible students who want it,” Warden said.

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