May 14, 2021 News Release: Tulare County Vaccinating Children Ages 12–15 with Pfizer Vaccine - Visiting and consulting with family pediatrician or health care provider encouraged

Tulare County Vaccinating Children Ages 12–15 with Pfizer Vaccine

Visiting and consulting with family pediatrician or health care provider encouraged

In its ongoing efforts to get more vaccines to its residents, Tulare County is offering the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine free to children ages 12 to 15, regardless of health conditions or immigration status. Additionally, parents or guardians are asked to visit and consult with a pediatrician regarding the Pfizer vaccination. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, May 10, 2021.The FDA amended the original EUA issued on December 11, 2020, for individuals 16 years of age and older.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends COVID 19 vaccine for all children and adolescents 12 and over unless they have a contraindication .  

“The announcement allows our younger population to be protected and to protect their families and friends, and allows for a greater sense of normalcy for this age group,” Tulare County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught said. “The pandemic has been especially hard on children, young adults, and our vulnerable populations. Taking another step toward normalcy is a critical step in public health efforts to lessen the burden that has been felt in so many ways, by so many people.”

Some sites may require those ages 12-15 be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please ensure you call or visit the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine website for more vaccination locations at https://covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov/covid-19-vaccine/, which includes a full listing of health care providers and local pharmacies offering COVID vaccinations. There are three approved COVID vaccines but at this time only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for children and adolescents between 12-18.

To make an appointment, visit the Curative link on the Tulare County COVID-19 Vaccine webpage at: https://curative.com/sites/26207. The Tulare County COVID-19 Call Center is also available to assist those without internet access and non-English–speaking residents in obtaining a vaccination; just call (559) 685-2260.

1. Your Health Care Provider or Doctor: We strongly recommend that youth with underlying health conditions or disabilities seek vaccination from a primary health care provider or health clinic. Check first with your usual health care providers to see if they have vaccines and available appointments. Health care providers who have vaccines may also begin reaching out to you, as a patient with a significant, high-risk medical condition or disability known to the provider, to schedule your vaccine appointment.

2. Pharmacies: You can check your local pharmacies to see if they have vaccines and available appointments. 

3. Community Pop-Up Clinics: Community pop-up clinics continue to target those living in communities with the lowest Healthy Place Index scores. Community partners will reach out to people eligible for the pop-up clinics.

4. My Turn: Effective May 13, those 12 and older can be scheduled for an appointment through California’s My Turn. Currently, individuals who are age 16 and older regardless of health conditions can register for an appointment, in two ways:

  • On-line at https://myturn.ca.gov/. The My Turn website is accessible to people with disabilities and in eight languages:  English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese.
  • Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 or 1-833-4CA-4ALL. The Hotline is accessible to people with disabilities and offers services in English and Spanish, with connections to interpretive services in more than 250 languages.   

It remains extremely important that all residents, vaccinated or not, continue to maintain safety precautions to prevent the spread of the disease, including masking and social distancing, until vaccinations are widely distributed. Residents must always wear a face mask or covering while in environments where physical distancing is not possible and while in public settings. In addition, everyone is encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine by a medical or public health professional. 

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