SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Pfizer's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine could be clear for children ages 12 to 15 as early as Wednesday when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meets to consider final approval. The move comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the green light on Monday.
If the CDC advisory committee approves the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, we wanted to know where parents can take their kids to get the shot. We're told anywhere where Pfizer is available, including a mass vaccination site or drug store.
“Go right ahead and schedule their child, for this vaccine, that's 12 and older,” said Dr. John Kelley, pediatrician at Redwood Pediatrics in East Longmeadow.
Kelley told Western Mass News why children won't be able to get the Pfizer vaccine at his office when the shot becomes available.
“So the Pfizer vaccine is the one that takes a really cold temperature before you administer it, like minus-70, and we don't have the ability to do that in our office,” Kelley explained.
However, looking down the road, Kelley told us that children might be able to get other vaccines at his office.
"The Moderna vaccine, which is not approved yet, is at freezer temperatures and that we have in our typical freezer for our office for vaccines,” Kelley added.
As for the time frame for Pfizer shots to begin for this youngest age group, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center told Western Mass News, in part:
“The administration awaits further guidance from the federal government...and is actively planning for the vaccination of 12-15-year-old individuals. Individuals 12-15 can preregister now for vaccination by visiting mass.gov."
As for children younger than 12, Kelley told us it could be a matter of months.
“If I have a one-year-old, I tell that parent that likely it will be winter to late winter before we’ll be able to vaccinate them and when I say ‘We, I’m not sure it will be in our office,’” Kelley noted.
In the meantime, Baystate Health Chief of General Pediatrics Dr. John O'Reilly told Western Mass News that local pediatricians offices across the state are hoping to find a way to administer the COVID-19 vaccine as well.
“So they’ve applied to the FDA to be able to use the vaccine in other ways, but right now, I think most of us are waiting for that approval to get it to the doctor's offices,” O’Reilly explained.