COVID-19 vaccinations for Wisconsinites ages 12-15 can begin Thursday

Published: May. 12, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 7:38 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsinites ages 12-15 are officially eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

State health officials announced Wednesday night that vaccinations can begin on Thursday.

“This pandemic has been tough on everyone, but I know it has been especially hard for our kids,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “Now with a COVID-19 vaccine available for the first time, we can offer our children protection against the virus. Whether they are at school, playing ball with their friends, or taking a family vacation, vaccinating your kids means they can get back to doing the things they love while also staying safe and healthy.”

In a news conference on Wednesday, Department of Health Services deputy secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk had said the agency was waiting for the results of a federal advisory committee and CDC approval.

“As soon as the ACIP releases their guidelines, DHS will be ready,” said Willems Van Dijk. “If the guidelines are as simple as an expansion of the age range, then we will update the standing order tonight and vaccinations can begin tomorrow.”

U.S. health advisers later endorsed the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in kids as young as 12 Wednesday afternoon, just as expected new guidelines say it’s OK for people of any age to get the shot at the same time as other needed vaccinations.

Much of the nation was awaiting recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Pfizer’s vaccine, already used for months in those 16 and older, was a good choice for 12- to 15-year-olds, too. The CDC director accepted its advisers’ recommendation a few hours later.

DHS secretary-designee Karen Timberlake explained that initial data from the Pfizer vaccine in this age group has showed 100% efficacy in preventing COVID-19.

“This is a game changer—especially as we are experiencing an increase in cases, hospitalizations, and reports of long-term symptoms in younger people,” said Timberlake. “We are asking parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated as soon as they can.”

Multiple area vaccinators, including CVS pharmacies and the Jefferson County Health Department, have already announced that they will have vaccination events or appointments for children in this age group.

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