COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Protecting yourself or your teenage children from COVID-19 is as easy a trip to the grocery store. The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday expanded its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to 12 to 15-year-olds. Those age groups can receive a shot from any of the providers in Southern Colorado who offer the Pfizer vaccine.
Some providers, like Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies, don't even require appointments.
"We do accept walk-ins at all of our locations including the Castle Pines mass clinic site, or you can make an appointment if that's something that's just a little bit easier for you," explained Nikki Price, director of pharmacy operations for Safeway and Albertsons.
She encourages those who prefer to have an appointment to schedule it on their website. Just about every Safeway location in Colorado offers the Pfizer vaccine. However, Price explained that the Salida location is too far from distribution sites to transport that specific vaccine.
While the virus has generally not impacted children as severely as other age groups, Price said there are reasons why parents may want to get the vaccine for their kids.
"You know, these kids don't necessarily get the virus as far as symptom-wise in terms of like adults do, but they certainly get quarantined, there's going to be summer travel happening."
Patients who receive COVID vaccinations at Safeway stores will be asked to wait for a 15 to 30 minute observation period to check for any allergic reactions. The pharmacists will schedule appointments for the required booster dose of the vaccine three weeks after the shot is administered.
"We're trying to make it as easy as possible in the communities that we serve in and by doing so, if you come in and get a shot with us we're also going to give you a 10 percent off coupon for your groceries. And you're going to get that for your first dose and your second dose."
Children and teenagers receiving the vaccines will need to have a parent or guardian with them to consent to treatment. Parents are encouraged to bring proof of health insurance before requesting a shot.
CLICK HERE for a complete listof upcoming vaccine clinics and a map of vaccine providers in El Paso County.