Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are announcing that parents and guardians can now register children 12 to 15 years of age to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This follows the announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday granting an Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group.
“COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I’m urging all parents to get their 12- to 15-year-olds vaccinated. This vaccine will help keep kids, families, and our community safe.”
“The Pfizer vaccine was rigorously studied before it was made available to children 12 to 15 years of age, and we are doing on-going monitoring after administering more than 100 million doses to adults in the U.S. over the last five months,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “Getting the child in your life vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most important things you can do to make sure their summer is healthy and safe.”
Parents and guardians can give consent and make appointments for Pfizer vaccine for children on vaccinateRI.org. (Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccine are still only available to be people 18 years of age and older.) It is recommended that children be accompanied by an adult for appointments at the State’s mass vaccination sites. Walk-up vaccination opportunities are also available at the sites at Sockanosset Cross Road (100 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston), the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (1 La Salle Square, Providence), and in Middletown (1400 West Main Road, Middletown).
RIDOH will also be working with cities, towns, and school departments to offer clinics in schools. (Schools have already been offering vaccine to students 16 and older.) Additionally, it is anticipated that the large pharmacy chains will start offering vaccine to children in this age group later this week.
Largely because children cannot be vaccinated, and because more contagious variants of COVID-19 are now circulating in Rhode Island, an increased proportion of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 cases are now among children. In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was extremely effective at preventing COVID-19 in children 12 to 15 years of age. The vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection with symptoms and led to a strong antibody response.
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Note: People who have any of the medical conditions below are more likely to be hospitalized if they get COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccine supply to Rhode Island is still limited, so this is only the first group of people who will be prioritized for vaccination. This list does not replace CDC’s inclusive list of underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. As we get more vaccine, more medical conditions will be added to the list.
• Type 1 (people who use insulin)
• Type 2 (people who do not use insulin)
• COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
• Cystic Fibrosis
• People with significant decreased lung function
• People with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
• Congestive heart failure
• Coronary artery disease
• People with enlarged hearts (cardiomyopathies)
• People with other significant heart conditions
• People with Down Syndrome
• People on dialysis
• Significant chronic kidney disease
Weakened immune system
• People who get chemotherapy or radiation
• People who have had a transplant or are waiting for a transplant
• Sickle cell disease
• People who have a disease that weakens the immune system
• People who take medicine that weakens the immune system