Contingency plans in the works when vaccine approval comes for ages 5-11 in Williamson County

Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County health officials are discussing how they are going to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 once vaccine approval comes.

The White House on Wednesday unveiled a plan to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for that age group, pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorization.

The Biden administration has secured enough vaccine supply to vaccinate the 28 million children who would become eligible.

In Williamson County, the health district estimates roughly 67,694 of those 28 million children would be eligible to receive the vaccine.

“I would love for both of them to be back in person. My son is the one we’re trying to protect,” said Jennifer Cernoch, Georgetown ISD parent. “He has some major allergy issues. In the past, he’s gotten regular respiratory viruses and a lot of breathing treatments and steroids. For us, it didn’t make sense to test that out and see how he does with COVID.”

It’s a sentiment many parents are feeling, but there’s one thing sitting in the way.

“The young one [Jennifer’s son] of course wasn’t able to get the vaccine yet,” said Cernoch.

Cernoch anticipates re-enrolling her two kids in Georgetown ISD once her son becomes vaccinated. She pulled both her son and daughter out to homeschool when she learned the district wouldn’t be offering virtual learning.

The district has since launched a virtual learning option.

In Williamson County, Family Hospital Systems which was in charge of the vaccine hub rollout when vaccines first came out is preparing for vaccine approval.

“Our contingency plans have contingency plans, so that we are fully prepared,” said Jen Stratton, Family Hospital Systems spokesperson.

The hospital systems have a mass vaccine clinic model that works, but it’s unclear if the Pfizer supply will go to individual pediatric offices or local health authorities for school districts to roll out.

Right now, there aren’t any concrete plans for Georgetown, Leander or Round Rock ISD.

The districts say they are communicating with local health districts and looking to launch clinics similar to ones in the past.

Round Rock ISD says the district will be sending out a survey this week in partnership with Austin Public Health to gauge interest of parents with kids ages 5 to 11.

Georgetown ISD formerly used its athletic complex in partnership with Williamson County and Curative to launch a vaccine site for adults.

“If that kind of effort is needed to be coordinated again, I know our district would step up to assist with providing the space necessary,” said Melinda Brasher with Georgetown ISD communications.

Curative, which previously helped with the vaccine hub sites in Williamson County, is no longer offering the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas, according to a company spokesperson.

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