NEW RICHMOND — HealthPartners is now offering appointments for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to kids 12 to 15 years old. Westfields Hospital will have vaccinations for that age group starting Monday, May 17.
Originally authorized for patients ages 16 and older, this expanded appointment eligibility reflects the latest recommendations made by a committee of leading, independent medical experts.
“I personally am looking forward to getting my 13 and 15-year-old kids into clinic for their vaccine – hopefully Thursday after school,” said Dr. Andrea Singh, department chair of pediatrics at Park Nicollet. “Expanding eligibility to this age group will help protect our kids from COVID-19, reduce transmission among more vulnerable people in our communities, and help them safely return to things like summer camps, sports and other social activities that they are craving.”
Safety data; myths and misconceptions
In a clinical trial of more than 2,000 children 12 to 15 years-old, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be safe and prompted a strong immune response. None of the kids who received the vaccine contracted symptomatic COVID-19. However, 18 kids who received the placebo contracted symptomatic COVID-19. Side effects resembled those seen in adults, with a slightly higher rate of low-grade fever among the younger participants.
HealthPartners experts are reminding parents and kids that this vaccine works the same way in younger people as it does in adults. There are no additional risks, extra hazards or unusual side effects. The vaccines were extensively tested before their use was authorized by public health officials.
What’s more, the vaccine doesn’t cause infertility or cause COVID-19, which are common yet misguided concerns.
“The data that we have on this vaccine is really encouraging – it’s safe, effective and will help us resume more normal lives,” Dr. Singh said. “I’m not going to hesitate. I’m going to protect my children with this vaccine, and I hope other parents do the same.”
How to schedule an appointment for 12 to 15 years-olds
Patients 13 through 17 years-old can call any of our clinics to be scheduled for a vaccine appointment. In addition, parents or guardians who have proxy access to their teenager’s medical record can schedule an appointment online on their behalf or by calling their clinic. For 12 year old patients, a parent or guardian must schedule the appointment. This can be done online or by calling any of our clinics. Visit www.healthpartners.com/vaccine for the most up-to-date vaccine information.