OSDH Officials Prepare To Offer COVID-19 Vaccine To Children Ages 12 To 15 With Parental Consent

Wednesday, May 12th 2021, 5:15 pm
By: Erica Rankin

The green light has been given for those ages 12 to 15 to be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes after a recommendation from the FDA for emergency use authorization on Monday and approval from the CDC advisory committee on immunization practices.

“What we can be assured of is that vaccines are safe and effective,” said Buffy Heater, the OSDH assistant deputy commissioner of personal health services.

Now with those ages 12 to 15 in the state, which is just over 200,000 adolescents, will have the opportunity to get the Pfizer vaccine with a parent’s consent.

But, OSDH officials know families will face a battle when weighing the decision to vaccinate their child or not.

“You’re a personal health care provider. We understand that health care is a personal service, so we recommend anyone with further questions to reach out to those they trust with the care of their children,” said Heater.

Local doctors are happy with the decision and said it can be a gamechanger in the fight against COVID-19.

“It has been shown nicely that if you vaccinate children that is the key to protecting adults,” said Dr. Douglas Drevets, the OU Health's chief of infectious diseases.

Drevets said data from the flu vaccine shows vaccinating kids also aids in slowing community spread, which has him hopeful for what could happen if those ages 12 to 15 receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“My presumption is the same will be with this coronavirus that if we can have good vaccine uptake in children we would do well in suppressing it through the entire society,” said Drevets.

State health officials said Pfizer vaccines are already in the state and ready to go as soon as they receive guidance later Wednesday from the CDC.

We are expecting to hear more from OSDH officials Thursday morning.