The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to adolescents aged 12-15 at various distribution sites throughout the Middle Peninsula and across Virginia.
Dr. Richard Williams, Medical Director of the Three Rivers Health District, said that the dose and dosage regimen are the same for everyone aged 12 and up.
Riverside Health Care System, Walmart and Walgreens, as well as clinical partners who are CDC-approved, may now administer the vaccine to children in the new age group, he said. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved for such use by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, May 12. It had previously been approved for those ages 16 and older.
Williams said the health district is in discussion with school officials about offering the Pfizer vaccine in schools as soon as possible. In addition, the district is making arrangements to offer the vaccine in health department clinics. Two of the clinics will need modified storage in order to meet the storage requirements for the vaccine, he said, adding that Riverside Walter Reed Hospital is currently storing the Pfizer vaccine for the health district.
In order to receive the vaccine, an adolescent must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian and must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or someone acting in their place, said a press release from the Virginia Department of Health. Proof of age may be required.
According to the press release, Virginia’s state-run Community Vaccination Clinics will begin offering the Pfizer vaccine to adolescents aged 12–15 beginning tomorrow, Friday, May 14.
There are eight state-run vaccination centers in Virginia, said the release. The closest ones to the Middle Peninsula are in the former Sherwood Shopping Center in Newport News, at 13771 Warwick Boulevard, and at the Hampton Coliseum on Coliseum Drive in Hampton.
To schedule an appointment, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682). For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.