COVID-19 Vaccine Available to Adolescents
County Health Departments will visit school campuses
County health departments in Southwest Oklahoma are set to offer the Pfizer vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15 as soon as today, now that all Federal approvals are in place.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met Wednesday and recommended approval to the CDC. The ACIP voted (14-0 with 1 recusal) to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for persons 12-15 years of age in the U.S. population under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.
“Now that the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) gave its go ahead, along with the CDC, we can begin to administer the vaccine to fight against COVID-19 to that age group immediately,” said Debra Johnson, District Health Planner for Comanche County Health Department and District 5.
“Fully vaccinated children and adolescents are no longer required to quarantine after exposure to a case of COVID-19. This means children who are fully vaccinated can safely participate in summer camp, school sports, and remain in the classroom this fall, even after exposure to a case of COVID-19. The data shows that while transmission of COVID-19 can still occur once you are vaccinated, it is much less likely, “said Brandie Combs, District 5 Regional Director.
“We will turn on the portal’s registration allowance for this age group and parents will then be able to register their children and access locations to receive the Pfizer vaccine, said State Health Commissioner Keith Reed. If using the state’s online portal — vaccinate.oklahoma.gov — to schedule an appointment, Reed said it will have instructions for options if a parent is unable to be with the adolescent, because parental consent is necessary.
Health departments throughout Southwest Oklahoma will continue to offer walk-in sites. Parents/guardians will need to be present at walk-in locations or send a signed note giving consent for an adult to bring the child for a vaccination. Additionally, District 5 will have vaccination clinics at local schools. Youth are able to get vaccinated without a parent/guardian present, if the minor brings the approved consent form complete with signature (links to the consent forms can be found at the bottom of this article). Consent forms for schools are available at your local health department or on the portal.
The ACIP also revised guidance on the co-administration of routine vaccines with COVID-19 vaccine, removing the 14-day minimum interval for administration of any other vaccine before or after a COVID-19 vaccine. “COVID-19 and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 and other vaccines on the same day, said Combs.”
District 5 plans to set-up several vaccination sites at school campuses in the following weeks.
Please see the below flyers for the LPS vaccination sites.