SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION) The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received FDA emergency use authorization earlier this week for youth aged 12 to 15, and after federal and state safety reviews, California is beginning to schedule vaccine appointments for that age group.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine safety review panel and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommended the vaccine after meeting on Wednesday. They found that the vaccine is "safe and effective in protecting this age group against severe illness, hospitalization, and death."
“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 fall into this age group, and the state said it has the capacity to administer about 6.6 million doses a week.
“California is ready to safely deliver vaccines to young people aged 12 and up. We have streamlined the enrollment process to include more clinics and providers that can administer vaccines to this next age group where they can also catch up on other vaccines that may have been missed over the course of this pandemic,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. “It’s important to remember that young people need protection against the severity and ongoing threat of COVID-19. California has had more than 500 cases of serious health outcomes among young people resulting from this virus, and cases are increasing among younger Americans and Californians who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated. I am grateful to be able to protect my own teenagers now.”
Families that choose to get their teens vaccinated can go to myturn.ca.gov, call the CA COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-422-4255 or contact their primary care doctor to schedule an appointment.