By T. Scott Boatright
Area youths ages 12-15 will get their initial opportunity to get a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination event slated for Friday at Northern Louisiana Medical Center.
The vaccines will be given to anyone 12 years of age or older, but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian according to the NLMC website.
Consent forms will also have to be filled out for youths under 18 to receive the vaccine. Those forms can be found at https://www.northernlouisianamedicalcenter.com/static/docs/NLMC%20COVID-19%20vaccine%20consent%20form.pdf
The US Food and Drug Administration last week gave the OK authorizing Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine in children and teens ages 12 to 15.
In making the announcement, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rocelle Walensky issued a statement saying, “The CDC now recommends the vaccine be used among this population, and providers may begin vaccinating them right away.”
Pfizer is the first coronavirus vaccine manufacturer to be granted emergency use authorization for younger Americans after a March clinical trial found that its vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 in study participants who were ages 12 to 15.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children ages 2-11 could potentially be eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in September.
“This is truly an exciting development that allows us to protect a large population of children and help them regain their lives after a really rough year,” said AAP President Lee Savio Beers said in a statement issued last week and read in front of an independent federal advisory committee that voted last week to recommend the vaccine for 12-15 year olds. “As a pediatrician and a parent, I have looked forward to getting my own children and patients vaccinated, and I am thrilled that those ages 12 and older can now be protected. The data continue to show that this vaccine is safe and effective. I urge all parents to call their pediatrician to learn more about how to get their children and teens vaccinated.”