City expands Pfizer vaccination to ages 12 and up

City expands Pfizer vaccination to ages 12 and up
(Courtesy photo)

By Olivia Anderson |

The Alexandria Health Department is now providing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to residents ages 12 and older, according to a news release.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved expanding the use of the two-dose vaccine to those between the ages of 12 and 15 on May 12, according to the release. The city followed suit shortly after.

Previously, Pfizer was approved for use in those ages 16 and older, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently available for ages 18 and older.

AHD is coordinating with ACPS to host vaccine events for public and private school families. According to the release, a parent or guardian must provide consent for children ages 12 to 17 by filling out an appointment schedule. If a parent completes the form before the event, any responsible adult may bring the child to their appointment.

The first AHD event will take place on Saturday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at George Washington Middle School, by appointment only. The second AHD event, which accepts walk-ups, will take place on June 5 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Francis Hammond Middle School.

Additionally, some private pediatric practices in the city are working with AHD to administer vaccines for children ages 12 and up. Participating clinics include Van Dorn Pediatrics and Hispanic American Pediatric Associates.

As of Tuesday, 124,351 total vaccine doses have been administered in the city: 76,500 people have received at least one dose, while 56,376 have been fully vaccinated, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Almost half of Alexandria’s residents, 49.4%, ages 12 and up are partially vaccinated and 41% are fully vaccinated.

There have been 11,799 total COVID-19 cases and 135 deaths in the city as of Tuesday, according to AHD. The number of new positive cases has been steadily decreasing in the city since April.

The city’s current seven-day moving average of positive cases as of Wednesday is down to 4. This is the lowest level since early April 2020, when there were fewer than 30 cumulative cases in Alexandria. The city also reported no new positive cases on Monday for the first time since Dec. 26.

However, there are still demographic discrepancies between dose percentages by ethnicity, as Black residents have been vaccinated at a lower rate than their Latino and white counterparts.

According to the city’s website, Latino residents have been vaccinated at the highest rate relative to their share of the population, as 12% of those who have received the vaccine have identified as Latino, while they account for 17% of the city’s population. Whites make up 52% of the city’s population, while exactly half that percentage, 26%, of the city’s vaccinated population is white. Conversely, only 6% of those receiving vaccinations have identified as Black, while Blacks comprise 21% of Alexandria residents.

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