Parents in California can now schedule appointments for young people in their families aged 12-15 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine using the statewide booking system.
“The more Californians who are able to get vaccinated, the better we can protect our communities and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Our efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of Californians are paying off, as we’re now leading the country with over 32 million vaccines administered and some of the lowest positivity rates in the entire country. Having vaccines expanded to teenagers is the next step in California’s path to safely reopening next month.”
This expanded eligibility comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine safety review panel and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommended on Wednesday that the vaccine is safe and effective in protecting this age group against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. On May 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the Pfizer vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization to allow administration for 12- to 15-year-olds, following clinical trials that proved it safe for this age group with only non-serious side effects like fatigue and headache.
“Protection from COVID-19 is available for so many Californians already and now our 12- to 15-year-olds can join others in getting vaccinated,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Young people have shouldered a significant burden during this pandemic. We look forward to now providing protection for this group to return to activities, especially as we look forward to the state fully reopening on June 15.”
About 2.1 million Californians are in this next eligible age group. California’s vaccine provider network has the capacity to administer about 6.6 million doses a week overall, including 2.5 million doses through providers who service this younger population. That is in addition to the doses available at local pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and other providers who receive allocations from the federal government.
(Photo Getty Images)