Capital Region preparing to vaccinate elementary-aged children

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After the Biden Administration announced plans to rollout the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, local school districts, pharmacies and doctors are preparing to vaccinate the age group, once approved.

“I will tell them yes, if your kid is up to the vaccination age, please yes, get them vaccinated,” said Dr. Nosa Aigbe Lebarty from CentralMed Urgent Care in Colonie.

Federal authorization is expected to be given at some point next month. Once approved, roughly 28 million more Americans will become eligible to roll up their sleeves.

“I think this is a welcomed development for the majority of those who really want these vaccines. If my child falls into that category, definitely yes, I will have them vaccinated,” Lebarty said.

Doses for the age group will be smaller than a typical COVID jab. At Lincoln Pharmacy in Albany, pharmacists are planning on having designated time frames to help split shots up.

“If I’m going to be doing kids at that time, I’ll only be doing kids, just to make sure everyone is as safe as possible,” said supervising pharmacist Zarina Jalal.

Jalal is also a parent of an elementary-aged child and has been anxiously waiting for the vaccine, “Getting the children vaccinated so that we can stop the spread within schools and hopefully stop that spread back home is really important.”

Local school districts also hoping the vaccine can stop the spread. Mechanicville Superintendent Bruce Potter says the district is already in communication with Saratoga County health officials about hosting vaccine clinics for elementary students in the future.

“Any effort we can put forth to promote the children being healthy, the parents feeling comfortable with them being here and keeping kids in school, we are certainly going to do it,” he said.

Potter hopes the vaccine will offer an additional layer of protection in the classroom, as nearly half of Mechanicville students still aren’t eligible, “To be able to overcome that hurdle, I think will go a long way to normalizing our school experience.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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