Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
California Plans Start of COVID-19 Shots for Kids 12-15
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 years ago on
May 12, 2021

Share

SACRAMENTO — California is nearing approval of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for its 2.1 million children ages 12 to 15, state health officials said Tuesday, one day after the federal government expanded its use.

Nationally and in California, the shots are set to begin Thursday after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisory committee issues recommendations Wednesday for using the two-dose vaccine in children as young as 12.

In California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup is independently reviewing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization. It also is expected to make its decision Wednesday, clearing the way to start vaccinations across the state.

Decision Comes as Schools Resume In-Person Teaching

“California is ready to safely deliver vaccines to young people age 12 and older,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state epidemiologist.

“We all know how hard this has been for our youth,” Pan said.

She said her own two children between 12 and 15 years old aren’t looking forward to the shots, but are “really excited to be protected, to be able to spend more quality time with their friends and more time indoors and resuming their social lives.”

The move comes as the state encourages schools to resume in-person teaching and remains on track to lift many virus-related restrictions by mid-June.

The state has the nation’s lowest positivity rate at 1%, while 61% of those eligible have had at least one shot, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health secretary. More than 30% of youths ages 16 and 17 have at least one vaccination.

Experts say children must be vaccinated if the nation is to reach the 70% to 85% of the population needed to reach what is known as herd immunity.

Students Not Required to Have Vaccine Shot

California will not now require the coronavirus shots for students as it does other vaccines, Ghaly said, given the emergency use authorization. Minors also need consent from their parents or guardians in most cases.

But the state is working with local officials and community groups to encourage their use through things like targeted social media and “micro-influencers,” the officials said.

That varies by location and does not necessarily include celebrities, but “trusted voices” like pediatricians and other healthcare workers, religious and school leaders.

“We know that young people have shouldered a significant burden throughout COVID in many ways — denied of certain activities, certain milestones, certain important events, shouldering additional degrees of anxiety and depression and other mental health and behavioral health impacts,” Ghaly said.

He has a 13-year-old daughter who he said “has a lot of catching up to do” with her friends.

The expansion, he said, provides “a tremendous opportunity for that group to sort of experience that sense of normalcy that they have been missing.”

Pre-Registration Beginning in Some Counties

While most younger people don’t experience the same severity of illness as adults if they are infected, Pan said they are not immune: California has had more than 500 severe cases among youths and 21 deaths, with a median age of 15.

Moderna and another U.S. company, Novavax, are testing their vaccines’ use in adolescents, and Pfizer and Moderna are testing whether the vaccine works for even younger children.

Canada recently became the first to expand use to 12 and up. Across the U.S., a few cities began offering the vaccines Tuesday after officials there took the FDA’s approval as authorization enough to begin giving the shots.

Orange and Sacramento counties began allowing families to pre-register for the shots last weekend. Within hours Sacramento County’s site had 2,000 people registered, 90% of them for children 12-16, KCRA TV reported.

The state will end its color-coded multitiered level of restrictions in mid-June, but Madera, Mono and San Mateo moved to lower tiers Tuesday. The more populous counties of Orange and Santa Clara are poised to move to the least restrictive yellow tier as early as next week.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

No Fresno Unified Superintendent Search Until After Labor Day

DON'T MISS

Former Clovis West Star Adrian Martinez Does It Again. He’s UFL Title Game MVP.

DON'T MISS

Long Prison Stint for Fresno Man Busted in Child Solicitation Sting

DON'T MISS

3 Days in Space Were Enough to Change 4 Astronauts’ Bodies and Minds

DON'T MISS

An Emotional Win for Theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside out 2’ Scores Massive $155 Million Opening

DON'T MISS

Oxfam CEO Slams UK Arms Sales Amid Gaza Crisis

DON'T MISS

Israeli Airstrikes in West Bank Claim Child Victims Amid Escalating Tactics

DON'T MISS

Gavin Newsom and the Legislature Far Apart on College Spending as Budget Deadline Nears

DON'T MISS

Visalia’s Stephen Vogt Has Guided Young Guardians to Top of AL Central

DON'T MISS

‘A Hellscape’: Dire Conditions in Gaza Leave a Multitude of Amputees

UP NEXT

California’s Democratic Leaders Clash With Businesses Over Curbing Retail Theft. Here’s What to Know

UP NEXT

2 Killed When Vintage Plane Crashes During Father’s Day Event at Southern California Airfield

UP NEXT

California Firefighters Gain Ground Against Big Wildfires After Hot, Windy Weekend

UP NEXT

California Ranks Bottom Third in Overall Child Well-Being, Per New Report

UP NEXT

‘Wouldn’t Be Where I Am Today:’ California’s Small Business Owners Fight to Save State Aid

UP NEXT

Find Out Which Lobbying Groups Get Their Way Most Often in the California Legislature

UP NEXT

Gavin Newsom and Top Democrats Are Deciding California’s Budget Behind Closed Doors

UP NEXT

California Senate Passes Ban on Schools Notifying Parents of Child’s Pronoun Changes

UP NEXT

California Legislators Break with Gov. Newsom Over Loan to Keep Last Nuclear Plant Running

UP NEXT

California’s Manure-to-Fuel Solution Grows, Critics Warn of Community Risks

3 Days in Space Were Enough to Change 4 Astronauts’ Bodies and Minds

51 mins ago

An Emotional Win for Theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside out 2’ Scores Massive $155 Million Opening

1 hour ago

Oxfam CEO Slams UK Arms Sales Amid Gaza Crisis

1 hour ago

Israeli Airstrikes in West Bank Claim Child Victims Amid Escalating Tactics

1 hour ago

Gavin Newsom and the Legislature Far Apart on College Spending as Budget Deadline Nears

1 hour ago

Visalia’s Stephen Vogt Has Guided Young Guardians to Top of AL Central

2 hours ago

‘A Hellscape’: Dire Conditions in Gaza Leave a Multitude of Amputees

2 hours ago

Will Finishing Touches to $2B Fresno Budget Occur in Public?

2 hours ago

Man Plotted Mass Shooting in Atlanta to Incite ‘Race War,’ Officials Say

2 hours ago

Longtime Southern Baptist Leader Paul Pressler, Accused of Sexual Abuse, Dies at 94

2 hours ago

No Fresno Unified Superintendent Search Until After Labor Day

The Fresno Unified School Board is postponing its search for a new superintendent until after the Labor Day weekend, when the trustees are s...

6 mins ago

6 mins ago

No Fresno Unified Superintendent Search Until After Labor Day

14 mins ago

Former Clovis West Star Adrian Martinez Does It Again. He’s UFL Title Game MVP.

23 mins ago

Long Prison Stint for Fresno Man Busted in Child Solicitation Sting

51 mins ago

3 Days in Space Were Enough to Change 4 Astronauts’ Bodies and Minds

1 hour ago

An Emotional Win for Theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside out 2’ Scores Massive $155 Million Opening

1 hour ago

Oxfam CEO Slams UK Arms Sales Amid Gaza Crisis

1 hour ago

Israeli Airstrikes in West Bank Claim Child Victims Amid Escalating Tactics

1 hour ago

Gavin Newsom and the Legislature Far Apart on College Spending as Budget Deadline Nears

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend