Vaccinations for children 12 to 15 years of age begin Thursday
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Now that the CDC has approved the use of Pfizer’s vaccine in children 12 to 15, states aren’t skipping a beat, many beginning vaccinations for that age group as soon as Thursday.
“14 yeas and one recusal, the motion passes,” Dr. José Romero said. “This is, one more step closer to, gaining immunity and bringing the pandemic, closer to the end. We still have, the younger age group to deal with. And we are, we are dealing with that and we still need to vaccinate the rest of the world, but, we’ve made significant steps and are on the road.”
In Rhode Island, the Department of Health has already opened registration and children, accompanied by a guardian, can also walk-up to any state-run clinic. There are roughly 50,000 children that fall under this newly eligible age group.
13-year-old Madeline Cohea was one of the first teens in line at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to get the Pfizer shot. She says the process was easy and it was over before she knew it.
“I was really excited,” Madeline Cohea said. “He texted me at school and told me I was getting vaccinated, and I was so excited and told all my friends. Then they made appointments right after. I’m feeling fine today. Yesterday, my arm was a little sore and I was tired, but that was really it.”
Her father, Mike Cohea, says the decision to vaccinate his 13-year-old was an easy one. He says for their family, the decision came down to protecting each other and getting back to some form of normalcy.
“I just couldn’t wait to tell her. It wasn’t really a hard decision at all. It was really her decision and I just basically drove her,” Mike Cohea said. “I would say trust the science, that’s what I looked at. It’s a well-studied vaccine. To me, there’s no reason not to. For us, too, Madeline has a little sister and it helps protect her because she’s still 6 months away from getting her vaccine so I can let my guard down a little bit as a parent, but not completely.”
“I think the main reason I wanted to get vaccinated was so I could see my grandparents more and hug them and hang out with them,” Madeline Cohea said. “I’m so excited to do that.”
Officials with the R.I. Health Department say they are working with cities, towns, and school departments to offer clinics in schools. They also anticipate large pharmacy chains will begin offering the vaccine as soon as Thursday.
In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker announcing Wednesday while touring Moderna’s lab in Norwood, that vaccinations with 12 to 15 year-olds will begin Thursday morning as soon as clinics open.
There are about 400,000 children in the 12 to 15 age group in the Bay State. Governor Baker says he hopes to get Pfizer shots to kids through pop-up and mobile clinics located in places like supermarket parking lots and some schools.
“Now that we’ve made so much progress by having almost 75% of our adult population with one dose, we’re pivoting our operation to continue to expand the ground game and break down barriers in every zip code,” Governor Baker said. “We’re also pleased that Moderna is moving forward with federal officials to approve their vaccine for use in people under the age of 18.”
Moderna is also looking for federal approval for its use of the vaccine in kids under 18. That decision is expected in a matter of weeks.