Colorado expects to start vaccinating kids between 12 and 15 later this week – The Denver Post

Colorado children between 12 and 15 years old could begin to get inoculated against the coronavirus later this week now that federal regulators have authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for the age group, state officials said Tuesday.

The state health department is waiting for further guidance from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisory committee, which will meet on Wednesday, before making the shots available to those aged 12 to 15.

Once the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices makes the recommendation, any Colorado vaccine provider with the Pfizer vaccine can administer it to this age group, said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist.

“We are hopeful the vaccine will be available to 12- to 15-year-olds in Colorado as early as this week,” she said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for those 12 to 15. Previously, only those 16 and older were eligible for the two-dose vaccine.

The authorization of the vaccine comes as children and teens are making up more new coronavirus cases in Colorado. The state’s highest case rates are among middle and high schoolers, Herlihy said.

Pfizer’s vaccine offers strong protection for teenagers, with clinical trials showing the shot had 100% efficacy for the 12-to-15 age group, she said.

“We want to slow cases among youth in time for fall school return,” Herlihy said.

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