Joint Message from Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax County Health Department
Covid-19 Vaccine Approved for Children Ages 12-15
May 13, 2021
Dear FCPS Community,
This past year has been challenging as we have had to do things differently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. FCPS and the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) have worked together to minimize the pandemic’s impact on our school community and remain committed to using all available public health tools to create a safer community.
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice accepted the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation to expand the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years of age. The vaccine has been studied and shown to be safe and effective in this age group and both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians support its use.
As our community strives to achieve herd immunity, vaccinating children in the 12-15 age group is a critical step towards achieving that goal and will help to keep our schools healthy places to learn. We encourage everyone 12 years of age and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. This online factsheet has important information about the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only vaccine currently available to children as young as 12 years.
COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available. Many pediatricians and family doctors’ offices have vaccine, and you may choose to take your child to their regular medical home for the vaccine. In addition, there are many opportunities to get COVID-19 vaccine in Fairfax, including other private health care providers, Urgent Care facilities, pharmacies, Inova, and FCHD. Many locations offer same-day appointments, and some even have walk in availability. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or another adult at all community vaccination sites.
- To learn how to get a vaccine at a Health Department clinic site, including the Fairfax County Government Center, George Mason University, and the Tysons Community Vaccination Center, go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/vaccine or call the Fairfax County Health Department vaccine call center at 703-324-7404. You can schedule directly, and you don’t need to pre-register.
- Walk-in appointments are also being offered at the Tysons Community Vaccination Center Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. This center is in the former Lord & Taylor site at Tysons Center at 7950 Tysons Corner Center in McLean.
- To schedule an appointment at Inova’s Stonebridge site at 5001 Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria, go to www.inova.org/COVID19/vaccine-scheduling.
- Locations for other vaccine providers in the community, including local pharmacies, can be found at www.vaccines.gov. Be sure to search for Pfizer vaccine which is the only vaccine currently for use on children 12 – 17 years. You can also text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) for information in English or VACUNA (822862) for information in Spanish.
The Health Department is working with Fairfax County Public Schools on strategies to ensure equity in access to vaccination for under-resourced students who may find it difficult to schedule an appointment or attend one of the other options available in the community. Information on these sites will be provided later this month.
If you have questions, talk to your child’s healthcare provider or call the Health Department’s COVID-19 information line at 703-267-3511.
We look forward to beginning the new school year in good health and seek your partnership in ensuring our children are protected from COVID-19 and other vaccine preventable diseases.
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, MD, MPH Scott S. Brabrand, Superintendent
Health Director Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Health Department