SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given the green light to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15. The decision came late Wednesday afternoon and now the vaccine can be made available as early as tomorrow.
The state’s preregistration system and CVS are now booking appointments for teens in that 12 to 15 age range and we are told the vaccines will start tomorrow.
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts DPH will determine who gets the vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine,” said Helen Caulton-Harris,
Springfield’s Health and Human Services commissioner.
Caulton-Harris said all they need from the state is the right vaccine.
“The city of Springfield is prepared to vaccinate individuals 12 years and older once we get the Pfizer vaccine. We will use the clinics that we currently have stood up,” Caulton-Harris added.
This comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved the company’s COVID-19 shot for kids 12 to 15. In addition to the clinics already standing, Caulton-Harris told Western Mass News that she is looking to partner with the school district and parents for vaccination efforts.
“I know that Springfield Public School nurses, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services, are anxious to get our youth vaccinated,” Caulton-Harris noted.
Governor Charlie Baker said that on Thursday, parents of 400,000 kids in the Commonwealth will be able to schedule appointments or go to state run walk-up sites. One site tailoring their approach to teens for both appointments and walk-ins: the vaccine clinic run at UMass Amherst.
“You know, we have a room if they need a quiet space. We have lots of waiting space for them…Our vaccinators are primarily College of Nursing students and so I think they'll relate well with the younger population,” said Annie Becker, director of public health at UMass Amherst.
This is only one of three vaccines approved in the United States, but as Baker toured another manufacturer on Wednesday, he expressed optimism that teens could soon have more than one option to get protected against COVID-19.
“We're also pleased that Moderna is moving forward with federal officials on the approval of their vaccine for people under the age of 18,” Baker noted.
Pfizer has also stated they are testing a version of their vaccine on kids ages two to 11.