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Central Shenandoah begins COVID-19 vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds

covid-19 vaccine
(© M.Rode-Foto – stock.adobe.com)

Central Shenandoah Health District began vaccinating those aged 12-15 Friday, following federal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents.

The vaccine previously was approved for use in those aged 16 and older, while two other available vaccines are approved for those 18 and older.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) approved use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those aged 12-15 Wednesday, accepting the recommendation of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which met earlier in the day to review safety data for the vaccine in this age group. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday amended the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to include those aged 12-15.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer the Pfizer vaccine to our adolescents aged 12-15,” said CSHD Health District Director Dr. Laura Kornegay. “Getting your adolescent vaccinated will not only protect the health of your child and family but it can also bring them one step closer to enjoying the activities they have missed during the pandemic.”

Children aged 12-15, and their parents, are welcome to attend any of the upcoming clinics below to receive a vaccine.  Parents/guardians must accompany the child. Links to schedule an appointment for each of the clinics are listed below. However, walk-ins are welcome as supply allows.

Harrisonburg Community Activities Center (305 South Dogwood Dr., Harrisonburg)

College Square – Old Peebles/Gordmans (770 North Lee Highway, Lexington)

For other COVID-19 vaccine clinic locations, go to vaccinate.virginia.gov and search for locations offering Pfizer-BioNTech. Or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682). Parents are encouraged to talk with their child’s primary care provider if they have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. In most cases, adolescents must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian and be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone acting in the place of a guardian to receive a vaccine. It is recommended that you check with the facility that is offering the vaccination about consent and who needs to accompany the adolescent. Additionally, sites run by the Virginia Department of Health require the parent or guardian verbally confirm a minor’s date of birth; however, other providers may require additional proof of age.

Administration of the vaccine in adolescents will be the same as in adults: given in two doses, separated by 21 days. Adolescents are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose. Side effects in this age group included pain or redness in the arm where the vaccine is given, fatigue, fever and muscle aches. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one approved for use in those under 18 years of age, so parents and guardians should ensure that vaccine is available before scheduling an appointment or attending a walk-in clinic. For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press