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Essentia, St. Luke's now scheduling Pfizer vaccines for children 12 and older

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now recommended the Pfizer vaccine for people 12 and older.

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of the Pfizer logo in this illustration
Vials labeled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of the Pfizer logo in this illustration taken Feb. 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

St. Luke's and Essentia Health are both now scheduling Pfizer vaccine appointments for children age 12 and older. The Food and Drug Administration recommended the vaccines for children ages 12 to 15 on Monday, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee seconded that recommendation Wednesday afternoon.

Both health systems have begun scheduling appointments for 12- to 15-year-olds to begin receiving the Pfizer vaccine Thursday. It has already been available to everyone age 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have so far been approved for use in people age 18 and older only.

The FDA recommended the vaccine for use in 12- to 15-year-olds after reviewing Pfizer's clinical data, which showed 100% effectiveness among more than 2,000 U.S. trial participants ages 12-15.

Anyone younger than 18 must have parent or guardian permission to receive the Pfizer vaccine. The guardian may accompany the minor to the vaccine clinic, or sign a permission form, which is available on the health systems' websites. Essentia and St. Luke's both accept walk-ins at their vaccine clinics, but availability of the Pfizer vaccine is dependent upon supply at each vaccination site.

For more information about where to get vaccinated, view the News Tribune's vaccine resource list.

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