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Covid Vaccine Notes For Younger Patients

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Health care providers are preparing for an increased demand for Covid vaccine now that 12-to-15-year-olds are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Schools are among those that are stepping up to fill that demand.Washington and Oregon still have one hurdle before shots can be administered to that group. That’s approval from the Western States scientific group that gives one more layer of review to this week’s FDA decision.

Assuming it signs off, providers that have already been inoculating 16-and-17-year-olds will add the younger kids to their vaccine eligibility list.

Renee Rassilyer-Bomers from Swedish Medical Center in Seattle says her group realizes that the procedure of vaccinating children needs to be a little more thorough than just poking an arm.

"We're making sure that we’re able to answer the questions that parents might have relating to the EUA, its coverage for kids. So we have to train up our medical providers who’ll be answering those questions to be able to assuage the things that will come through that I know any parent would have," she said.

Kelli Hawkins from the Spokane Regional Health District says her agency and other providers are working on ways to make vaccinations for convenient for families. She says CHAS Health is specifically requesting the Pfizer vaccine from the state in its weekly allotments so that it can forward it to pediatricians.

The Spokane School District has made plans to vaccinate students. It will hold clinics next week at Lewis and Clark and Ferris High Schools, and Shadle Park and Rogers High Schools the week after.
Students can sign up on the Spokane Public Schools website and the vaccines are not mandatory to be able to attend school. The district will need permission from a parent, or guardian, before they can administer a vaccine.
Students will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which has been approved for 16 and 17-year-olds. Students age 12 to 15 will be eligible to get a vaccine at the clinics once the state Department of Health approves the vaccine for that age group.

The Mead School District held a second-dose clinic for students on Tuesday, but has nothing firm planned beyond this. The Central Valley School District says it doesn't have anything planned either, but is communicating with families about their vaccine options.