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Pfizer’s COVID vaccine may soon be available to Hoosiers 12 to 15 years old

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- The FDA has approved using the Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids 12 to 15 years old.

If the CDC agrees with that decision Wedneday, those younger Hoosiers could be eligible to receive the shots as early as Thursday morning.

"The science is clear: these vaccines are safe and effective," Dr. Matthew Sutter said.

Allen County health commissioner Sutter says the FDA approving the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old can only help that age group -- 17 million of them across the country.

He says even though children's risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 is very low, it's not zero.

Hoosier kids 12 to 15 years old could be eligible to get the Pfizer COVID vaccine as early as 8 a.m. Thursday.

"There are significant numbers of children and young adults who have long-term symptoms that can be disabling, that develop blood clots, that have other very serious or even deadly consequences of COVID-19 infection. So I would really urge everybody regardless of age group to get vaccinated," he said.

The CDC is expected to issue its recommendation late Wednesday, and if it's favorable Hoosiers 12 and older would be eligible to get the shots as early as 8 a.m. Thursday.

Dr. Sutter says there are plenty of available appointments at the Memorial Coliseum's COVID clinic, and that walk-ins are accepted, too.

"I think it's a good idea. I had the Pfizer and I think it's very effective, and I think it's been tested enough that it's safe for 12 and up," Karen Quinn said.

"I think it probably should be done, health reasons. These (bleeped) masks, nobody likes anyway. Why not everybody and be done with it?" Bob Stanton asks.

Sutter says an advantage to being fully vaccinated is that you don't need to quarantine if you've been exposed unless you develop symptoms, meaning it could be a game-changer for kids.

"That's huge, because we've excluded a lot of kids from school, from sports, because they came in contact with someone with COVID-19. By getting your children vaccinated, you can markedly limit that exposure," he said.

To have your 12 to 15 year olds vaccinated, you must go to the appointment with them to give consent and vouch for their identity.

Moderna is already testing its vaccine on children six months to 12 years old right now, and Pfizer is testing its shots on kids two to 12.

You can register your 12 to 15-year-old for a vaccine appointment by going to this website or you can call 2-1-1.

Many clinics are also allowing walk-in patients, but you may have to wait when you get there.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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