HUTCHINSON – Hutchinson Health is now offering appointments for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children 12 to 15 years old. Originally authorized for patients ages 16 and older, this expanded appointment eligibility reflects the latest recommendations made by a committee of leading, independent medical experts.
“The FDA has authorized and the CDC has recommended immunizing children ages 12 and older with the COVID-19 vaccine,” Pediatrician Erin Knudtson said. “Children can become significantly ill from this infection. We have a safe and effective vaccine that can prevent this and protect them during this pandemic. Please consider vaccinating your child when they are eligible. We will be vaccinating ours,”
Safety data; myths and misconceptions
In a clinical trial of more than 2,000 children 12 to 15 years-old, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be safe and prompted a strong immune response. None of the kids who received the vaccine contracted symptomatic COVID-19. However, 18 kids who received the placebo contracted symptomatic COVID-19. Side effects resembled those seen in adults, with a slightly higher rate of low-grade fever among the younger participants.
HealthPartners and Hutchinson Health experts are reminding parents and kids that this vaccine works the same way in younger people as it does in adults. There are no additional risks, extra hazards or unusual side effects. The vaccine was extensively tested before its use was authorized by public health officials.
What’s more, the vaccine doesn’t cause infertility or cause COVID-19, which are common yet misguided concerns.
“The data that we have on this vaccine is really encouraging – it’s safe, effective and will help us resume more normal lives,” Dr. Singh said. “I’m not going to hesitate. I’m going to protect my children with this vaccine, and I hope other parents do the same.”
How to schedule an appointment for 12 to 15 years-olds
Patients 13 through 17 years-old can call 320-234-3290 to be scheduled for a vaccine appointment. In addition, parents or guardians who have proxy access to their teenager’s medical record can schedule an appointment online on their behalf or by calling our clinic. For 12 year old patients, a parent or guardian must schedule the appointment. This can be done online or by calling any of the Hutchinson Health clinics. Visit www.healthpartners.com/vaccine for the most up-to-date vaccine information.