County could vaccinate many students before the fall

With one vaccine shown to be safe for some kids, county health officials suggest they could get students inoculated before they go back to school.

Early data from Pfizer shows that its COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and very effective for children between the ages of 12 and 15. That’s setting the stage for many young people to be vaccinated before school starts up in the fall.

Kalamazoo County Medical Director Dr. William Nettleton told WWMT that it’s good news for the county’s fight against the pandemic.

“The more we can vaccinate and the more people eligible to receive the vaccine will help decrease transmission in the community, decrease hospitalizations, and decrease deaths,” he said.

So far, official plans are to begin vaccinating children by the end of the year. But if Pfizer/BioNTech gets emergency authorization from the FDA to vaccinate children sooner, that could push up the county’s timeline.

“I’d really love to see us rolling out vaccinations for kids before the beginning of the school year, in August or early September,” said County Health Officer Jim Rutherford.

Pfizer/BioNTech is also studying its vaccine in younger children, which could eventually allow people of all ages to get inoculated.

You can read more here.

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