FDA expands use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to children 12 and older

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Food and Drug Administration expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 to 12- to 15-year-olds on Monday, May 10.

The State says that makes roughly 55,000 more people in Hawaii eligible for the shot.

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The latest update from the FDA comes as the State announced the closing of two of its vaccination sites on Oahu. There will be other options, like a one-time vaccination clinic at McKinley High School.

The FDA amended the emergency use authorization for Pfizer to allow 12- through 15-year-olds.

“The next step in the process is that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices from the CDC will be meeting on Wednesday, and they will review and make a recommendation,” said Department of Health director Dr. Elizabeth Char.

Dr. Char says they can hopefully start rolling out more vaccine for a younger population by the end of the week of May 10. She says there are already some sites taking appointments for those 12 to 15, like Le Jardin Academy which is hosting a one-time vaccination clinic on Sunday, May 16, for employees, students and household members to name a few.

“We just put the announcement out on Friday. And it was a conditional invite, conditioned on the emergency use authorization for kids aged 12 and up. And we were shocked to come in this morning and find that over 200 people had already registered,” said head of school Earl Kim.

McKinley High School is also hosting a vaccination clinic that is open to the public on Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students under 18 will need to fill out a permission form.

“If they fill that out and the parents sign it, the parents don’t have to show up. The students can just come by themselves, but they need that permission form,” said principal Ron Okamura.

KHON2 asked the Department of Education what this means for public schools. A spokesperson says the ultimate goal is to safely resume daily in-person learning for as many students as possible.

“We are shooting for 100% return to campus with our students because I think with this vaccine and the herd immunity and community that we’ll have that ability to come and feel a little bit safer,” said Okamura.

This comes as the State announces it’s closing the Leeward and Windward Oahu vaccination clinics. The last day of operations will be Thursday, May 13.

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