Erie and Niagara Counties expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts to include kids 12 to 15-years-old

Coronavirus

A 12-year-old prepares to receive a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Maureen Stevens at Harborview Medical Center on May 13, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. The hospital began vaccinating children aged 12-15 following approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

ERIE COUNTY, NIAGARA COUNTY N.Y. (WIVB) — Kids ages 12 to 15-years-old will be able to get vaccinated at Erie County Department of Health Pfizer vaccination clinics beginning May 15. The Niagara County Department of Health is also following suit offering the vaccine to kids in that age group beginning May 18.

ECDOH and NCDOH announced Thursday they will expand their COVID-19 vaccination efforts to include 12 to 15-year-olds. Those in that age range only qualify for the Pfizer vaccine at this time.

Both departments’ announcements come a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for those in that age range. Governor Cuomo followed suit authorizing COVID-19 vaccination providers in the state to vaccinate people ages 12 to 15-years-old with the Pfizer vaccine.

The ECDOH Pfizer clinics begin Saturday at Southside Elementary. They continue next week at the following locations:

  1. May 18: Springville High School (Pfizer and Moderna)
  2. May 19: SUNY Erie Community College (ECC) North
  3. May 22: SUNY ECC North, SUNY ECC South, MST Prep and McKinley High School

Parental consent is required for kids 12 to 17-years-old.

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NCDOH Pfizer clinics are listed below:

  1. May 18, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. at Barker Jr-Sr High School Gym
  2. May 20, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. at Wilson High School
  3. May 25, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. at Lewiston Porter Community Resource Center
  4. May 27, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. at Newfane Middle School
  5. June 9, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. at Harry F. Abate Elementary School

Kids 12 to 17-years-old are strongly recommended to be accompanied by a parent.

ECDOH says they’re working on future events in partnership with area school districts.

“We are very glad to be able to offer Pfizer vaccine to this age group, as the more people we can vaccinate, the better protected our community is against COVID-19,” said ECDOH Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein.

“Our department has been coordinating closely with pediatricians to supply many pediatric offices with Pfizer vaccine as well. Parents can take their children to their medical home to get a COVID-19 vaccine just as they would for any vaccine. Speaking as a pediatrician, a child’s doctor is best able to respond to parents’ questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Niagara County officials stressed the importance of those as young as 12 to get the vaccine.

“Now that federal and state officials have authorized the Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12, it is important for parents and caregivers to take advantage of this expanded access to the free vaccine for their children before next school year,” added NCDOH Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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