Health providers work to get child vaccine doses to river region

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The vaccine rollout for kids ages 5 to 11 starts now. Right now, local hospitals and pediatric offices are working to get doses to the river region.

For the past nine months, we’ve seen different rollouts for different age groups come through Augusta University Health’s mass vaccination site. AU Health says it’s still up in the air right now whether this will be the main site you’ll bring your kids to get vaccinated.

But what we do know is that 1,200 doses are on the way.

“Every single individual has been paramount in this response,” said Dr. Joshua Wyche, AU vaccine coordinator.

AU Health officials say they aren’t even close to accomplishing their mission to get everyone vaccinated.

“We’re very fortunate to have caregivers that care so much about their community that want to make this impact and continue to push through during this pandemic,” Wyche said.

Now there’s a new demand.

“When we think of children in this 5-to-11 age group, it’s approximately 1 million children in the state of Georgia and another 450,000 in the state of South Carolina,” he said.

AU has ordered 1,200 doses from the Georgia Department of Public Health. But officials still aren’t sure when they’ll arrive.

“Once we receive the vaccine from DPH, we will open up vaccination slots within our clinics within the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and in our clinics throughout the Augusta community,” said Wyche.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says it will begin vaccinations once it gets guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is expected in the next couple of days. DPH isn’t sure how many total doses have been ordered in the state.

“What we know is this group made up about 25-30 percent of all COVID positive cases and so this is a group that while the rest of us, and many of us, may be vaccinated, they have not had that opportunity,” he said.

But as COVID cases drop people still need to be careful.

“We definitely need to stay vigilant,” he said.

And as we move toward winter, getting everyone vaccinated is crucial to reduce the spread of the virus.

If your child has already had COVID, the CDC recommends waiting 90 days before looking to get your child vaccinated. Also check in with your doctor to see if they’re eligible to get it.

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