DENVER — Children as young as 12 should be able to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado as soon as Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that the shot is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens. Polis anticipates the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will approve the vaccine for use on children 12-15 Wednesday—potentially giving the go ahead for vaccine sites to begin administering the vaccine to young teens the next day.
Colorado State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said the Pfizer vaccine has proven to be incredibly effective in this age group.
“Yesterday, the FDA announced the Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for emergency use authorization in adolescents aged 12 to 15. This is another important milestone in protecting Coloradans and ending the pandemic. Pfizer conducted robust clinical trials to ensure the vaccine safety among 12 to 15 year olds. The trials show that the vaccine has 100% efficacy among this age group,” Dr. Herihy said.
Once ACIP’s decision is made Wednesday, parents will be able to take their children in that age group to any of the state’s mass vaccine sites to get inoculated against COVID-19.
Dr. Herlihy said the vaccine’s approval comes at a time when children in Colorado are increasingly accounting for more new cases of coronavirus.
“Youth are currently accounting for more new cases in the state as many older Coloradans have already taken the opportunity to receive the vaccine. In fact, our highest case rates currently are among the middle school and high school students in the state,” Dr. Herlihy said.
Polis said Colorado should have enough supply of the Pfizer vaccine to meet the need of those in the newly-approved age group. He said it should take a couple of weeks to administer the first shot of the vaccine to those young teens wanting to get vaccinated.