Oklahoma State Department of Health officials received all information necessary to safely administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to those ages 12 to 15.
“We want our kids to get back to some normalcy as well,” said Keith Reed, the state deputy commissioner of health.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 and up.
Reed said that normalcy comes through vaccination, and vaccinating the young population is very similar to vaccinating adults.
“The dosing is the same and that is what was studied and it remains the same recommendation,” said Reed. “Really, the only difference we are looking at in rolling it out to 12- to 15-year-olds is parental consent.”
Which OSDH officials are working to make easier with an authorization form that will on the state’s vaccine portal that a parent can fill out if they can’t make the child’s appointment.
“The child would need to be brought to the clinic with an adult that can attest to that consent and we can then take care of them,” said Reed.
Parents also don’t need to worry about separating routine vaccines from the COVID-19 vaccine after a new CDC recommendation.
“So that means when you go to your doctor and you have that conversation with your doctor, you can get all your vaccines when you get there so you no longer have to wait that two weeks, which will expedite that process to get you back to a new normal moving forward," said Jolianne Stone, a state epidemiologist.
State health officials said they will not mandate kids to get vaccinated to go back to school.
“We have no intent in requiring these vaccines,” said Reed.