State pleased about Pfizer vaccine expansion to younger adolescents

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Vernon Warnock prepares to test more people for COVID-19 during drive-through testing at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Kai Kubera talks with Marlon Simmons after being tested for COVID-19 at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Kai Kubera closes his eyes while being tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday by Marlon Simmons at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 to 15 years old.

The state Department of Health issued a statement Wednesday saying it is pleased adolescents ages 12-15 are now eligible for COVID vaccines.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday recommended that 12- to 15-year-olds receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The recommendation comes two days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded emergency use authorization for the vaccine to include people age 12 and older.

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“This vaccine is safe and very effective, especially in this age group.” said state Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “The vaccine offers another layer of protection and will help to lessen transmission and illness, which will protect young people, their parents and their grandparents. We are very excited this additional group can now be vaccinated.”

Some vaccination providers in Hawaii already began to offer shots to those 12-15, and other providers offering Pfizer will do the same in the coming days.

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The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available for people 18 and older.

A growing number of locations are offering vaccinations to those who walk in without an appointment. Vaccinations can also be scheduled on the registration page at hawaiicovid19.com.

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