ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday afternoon, the director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, Dr. Cynthia Morrow, held a virtual public health briefing about topics like the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the authorization and rollout of pediatric coronavirus vaccines.

This online news conference is taking place just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended coronavirus vaccines for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), U.S. health advisers recommended the Pfizer vaccine for those ages six months through four years, as well as the Moderna vaccine for those ages six months through five years. The Pfizer vaccine is a three-dose series — with the first two doses administered three weeks apart and a third dose at least two months after the second dose — while the Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series administered four weeks apart.

Because VDH has been planning for the expansion of vaccine eligibility and availability for several months, families will have many options for where to get their children a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination sites may include:

— Pediatric offices
— Family practice offices
— Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
— Retail pharmacies for children ages 3 years and older
— Local Health Departments

Statement released on June 18, 2022 by the Virginia Department of Health

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts say their first vaccination clinics for the youngest group of Virginians will be appointment-only in Roanoke and Covington on Thursday, June 23, as well as Roanoke on Friday, June 24. You can set up those appointments through the VASE online scheduling system.

However, starting next week, vaccination appointments will be offered at other locations within the health districts. For those events, you can call your local health department to make an appointment.

Kids over the age of three will also be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccines at pharmacies and healthcare centers, such as New Horizons, using the the search engine.

Health officials expect Vaccine shipments should be arriving with participating providers throughout the week, so we expect more providers to offer more appointments over the next week or so.

In addition, Morrow announced on Tuesday, 21 that the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts have seen fairly stable levels of COVID-19 activity over the last week, with a slight decrease in reported cases and total hospitalizations. The health districts’ latest data is included below:

Morrow’s Tuesday briefing comes two weeks after her last virtual update, but you can read the data shared by the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts on Wednesday, June 15 below:

COVID-19 activity in the RCAHD has not significantly changed over the past week. Case counts and total hospitalizations have decreased slightly while the total of new hospitalizations has remained the same since last week.

COVID-19 Update:

— Cumulative Case Count Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts: 65192 (up 546)  
— People hospitalized with COVID-19, as of Monday 6/13/2022: 23
— 17 new hospitalizations
— COVID-19 related deaths, as of Tuesday 6/14/2022: 1003
— 627 Alleghany Health District, 376 Roanoke City Health District

Please note: Per VDH Central Office guidance “Starting June 6, 2022, there will be a two-week blackout period where the CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) will not be returning death certificates submitted by states for coding purposes. NCHS will be reprocessing and re-coding 2022 death certificates.”  

Statement shared on June 15, 2022 by the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts

As of Thursday, June 16, the CDC says Roanoke County has “high” COVID-19 community transmission levels while Alleghany County, Botetourt County, Craig County, Roanoke City, and Salem have “medium” levels and Covington has “low” levels.