Montgomery County officials making plans to vaccinate children, target young adults

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County is preparing to roll out vaccines to some of its youngest residents, as the FDA is expected to consider an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to be administered to children ages 12 to 15.

Dr. Earl Stoddard, the director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, says 12, 13, 14, and 15-year-olds make up between 3 and 4 percent of county residents. Stoddard says vaccinations in this age group could help the county reach its next reopening thresholds: 60 percent of residents have received at least one dose and 50 percent of residents being fully vaccinated.

Local health officials say they expect the new Pfizer vaccine EUA to be granted as early as next week. It comes as Montgomery County reports lower vaccination rates among its residents in their early twenties to mid-thirties. Leaders say gearing vaccination efforts toward younger residents is going to be a priority moving forward.

“We’ll be targeting very proactively and aggressively those groups. For example, our young people, who represent thousands of people in the ultimate number of people covered. It would provide a great amount of protection to them, as they continue to move around, and their other family members,” said Dr. Travis Gayles, the county’s chief health officer.

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