Vanderbilt doctor says vaccines for children this summer is “realistic timeline”

Vanderbilt doctor says vaccinations over the summer months is a real possibility for children.
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Beginning April 5th, everyone over the age of 16 will be eligible and in phase to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While several counties have already began this process, questions about more eligibility have already begun.

Dr. David Aronoff is an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, and has played a vital role in research and the vaccination process for many in Tennessee. He says with good news on results for the Pfizer vaccine being effective and safe for ages 12 to 16, he says vaccinations for children those ages this summer is a real possibility saying, “I’d certainly like to think so.”

Dr. Aronoff says he’s hopeful that more data will come to fruition in April on Johnson and Johnson and Moderna vaccines for 12 to 16-year-old children, and that the FDA will get in front of the data and make a decision in May. He feels that with the timeline, vaccinations over the summer months is a real possibility for children before they get back into the classroom.

As for children under the age of 12, Dr. Aronoff says there just isn’t enough data saying “It’s a bit too early to say but I remain hopeful” on a similar timeline that gives families the chance to vaccinate their children before the 2021 school year.

Another question he offered insight on was the inquiry on vaccinating children at the school locations. He called it “realistic” to think that schools across Tennessee could be vaccination sites for the upcoming school year. Dr. Aronoff went on to say it’s not uncommon for this to happen saying, “historically schools have been places where mass vaccinations are done for at risk children.”

We have not heard any indication as of now from Knox County or surrounding counties that the possibility of vaccination sites as schools is being considered as of now.

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