As early as next week, more than 170,000 12 to 15-year-olds in Connecticut could be the next group to qualify for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The startup for the rollout is already underway as state health leaders await FDA approval.
“We saw some data in March and more than 2,000 children that it was 100% protected for those children who were fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Jody Terranova, pediatrician and president-elect of the Connecticut branch of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Terranova is also a member of the Governor’s Advisory Task Force Scientific Subcommittee on the Covid 19 vaccine. She says where kids will get their vaccine has yet to be determined.
On Thursday, the Connecticut Department of Public Health released a statement: “The vaccine has not yet been approved for 12-15 year olds, so those details have not yet been fully established, although we are communicating with our vaccine suppliers to prepare for the likelihood that the vaccine will soon be approved for this age group.
As with 16-17 year olds, 12-15 year olds will presumably be able to get their vaccination from any provider who administers the Pfizer vaccine. Details on which providers would be available for this age group will be available at the ct. gov / covidvaccine web page.
Details of any special clinics or other arrangements that may be made to vaccinate this group will be disclosed when available. Currently, due to the unique storage and handling requirements of the Pfizer vaccine, many pediatric practices are unable to administer the vaccine . to their patients. We hope that future packaging and other changes will allow us to work directly with pediatric practices to administer the vaccine to their patients. “
“I don’t think one size fits all for this age group,” said Mark Masselli, president and CEO of Community Health Center, Inc.
Masselli says CHC is reaching out to superintendents and directors across the network of more than 200 healthcare schools. Of the 75,000 tests for young people through CHC, Masselli says 10% have tested positive.
“We are very concerned about young people and the impact on them, thank goodness there is now a vaccine because they had no protection so far, so this is very important to make sure they get vaccinated,” said Masselli.
Masselli says that while schools will be an option for some 12- to 15-year-olds to receive the vaccine through CHC, other locations, part of the new ABC initiative, will make it available in theme parks, beaches and camps.
“Needing vaccines has always been a very controversial issue,” said Terranova.
Terranova said it is up to DPH to decide whether COVID-19 vaccines will be needed for students to return to class in the fall. The CT Association of Public School Superintendents said Thursday there has been no talk about making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory.
“If COVID is still an epidemic in the community, even if it’s not quite a pandemic, then they would be a good reason to demand it, as we still need to reduce the spread of our community,” Terranova said.