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Hoyer expects ‘strong’ interest in young kid vaccines from WV parents

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginia is awaiting the delivery of 17,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years.

The vaccines, which were approved by the federal government within the last week, should arrive by June 29, according to state InterAgency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer.

James Hoyer

Hoyer said they’ve tried to gauge the interest from parents.

“It looks really strong. We are going to go out and get children vaccinated–it’s about 21% right now,” Hoyer said at Wednesday’s media briefing hosted by Gov. Jim Justice.

State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad urged parents with questions to talk with a trusted health care professional. She said there are several good reasons for parents to consider going through with the vaccinations for their young children.

“Young people still get sick. They can end up in the hospital,” Amjad said. “We still don’t know all of the long-term effects that are happening in adults and even children at this time. Symptoms of long COVID can happen several months after infection or several years so that should also be on their minds.”

The Moderna vaccine for young children will be a two-dose vaccine series about two weeks apart. Pfizer will be a thee-dose series. It will be thee weeks apart between dose one and two and then two months after that for dose three.

Dr. Ayne Amjad

Those between the ages of 3 and 5 can receive a vaccination at a pharmacy but those under the age of 3 can only be vaccinated by a pediatrician or at a county health department.

Amjad said some doctors have also ordered shipments of the vaccines. She said it’s good for parents to keep a line of communication open.

The InterAgency Task Force is having dialogue with providers and are planning upcoming education sessions with parents, Hoyer said.

“We’ll be doing a series of outreach with various organizations where parents are involved to help forward that education effort,” he said.

COVID numbers steady

Information released Wednesday by the state Department of Health and Human Resources shows active COVID cases at 1,882 with 612 cases confirmed in the past 24 hours. There were a little more than that listed as recovered cases.

Hospitalizations were at 187 in Wednesday’s report.

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