WASHINGTON — U.S. health advisers endorsed use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in kids as young as 12 on Wednesday — just as planned new guidelines say it's OK for people of any age to get a coronavirus shot at the same time as other needed vaccinations.
The shots will let kids safely attend camps this summer and help assure a more normal return to classrooms next school year, concluded advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kids in D.C., Maryland and Virginia can begin getting vaccinated starting Thursday.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that providers across the Commonwealth will administer the Pfizer vaccine. 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.
“This is great news. Like everyone else, our young people have had their lives disrupted over the past year. Vaccination will allow all of us to come together with the assurance that we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and each other. I urge families to make vaccination a priority for everyone who qualifies to be vaccinated,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “Millions of people already have been vaccinated, and the FDA and the CDC continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccines for side effects. This is indeed our shot at ending this pandemic and saving lives.”
In D.C., residents aged 12 and older can get vaccinated at the following District walk-up sites whenever they are open:
- Arena Stage
- Fort Stanton Recreation Center
- Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center
- Lamond Recreation Center
- Langdon Park Community Center
- Rosedale Recreation Center
- RISE Demonstration Center
- Walter E Washington Convention Center
Safeway, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies using the Pfizer vaccine can also vaccinate kids 12 and up
D.C. children can also continue to register for their shots at Children's National Hospital.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, kids 12 to 15 won't need a parent to accompany them to get their shot. But parental consent will still be needed. Parents can give consent ahead of time by pre-registering their children for appointments online.