Roanoke Area Schools And Health Departments Plan To Vaccinate Younger Age Group

May 4, 2021

Health departments and local school systems are already planning to hold COVID-19 vaccination clinics for younger students.

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control could expand authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine to the 12 to 15 year old age group within the next week.

Credit AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

The director of the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District, Dr. Cynthia Morrow, said plans are being made to get shots to that younger age group.  "We have been holding high school vaccinations for our 16 and 17 year olds.  So far we’ve had pretty good success.  Lower rates than we’d like to see," she admitted on a weekly conference call with reporters.  Morrow said she held a planning call with school superintendents Tuesday morning.

Morrow said the number of school and sports-related outbreaks in the district have been low recently. But because most schools moved from six feet of distancing to three feet, more kids are being identified as close contacts.  "What we are seeing is when there is a case identified in a child in a school, there are more close contacts identified and therefore need to be in quarantine. “

Weekly Case Increase Lowest Since The Fall

The number of weekly new COVID-19 cases repoted in the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District is the lowest it's been since the fall.   Morrow reported 163 new cases over the past week, down from 194 reported the week before.  The number of people hospitalized for complications related to COVID-19 also continues to drop.  That figure dropped from 26 to 14 over the past week.

Three additional COVID-related deaths were recorded in the district over the past week.