With federal supplies finally ramped up, there is a new group creating increased demand in the city for COVID-19 vaccination appointments: Seattle parents.
Monday, the Food and Drug Administration expanded eligibility for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine saying testing shows it is safe for kids 12 to 15.
While the sign-up wizards for many health providers and the City of Seattle-run clinics including the Lumen Field megasite still included 16 and older requirements in the process as of Monday’s announcement, other smaller, more nimble providers had already updated to include kids.
Available slots for 12 to 15 year olds at downtown’s Seattle Infectious Disease Clinic, a provider of care for infectious disease, travel medicine, and internal medicine primary care on Olive Way, for one example, were snapped up in minutes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisory committee must also approve whether to recommend the shot for 12- to 15-year-olds. An emergency meeting was scheduled for Wednesday.
Manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson have said they are studying the safety of their vaccines in children including infants as young as 6 months.
The expanded eligibility comes as King County has been nearing the 50% mark of vaccination of its adult population and with officials mounting more aggressive outreach campaigns to try to reach younger adults with incentives like discounted food.
Washington officials, meanwhile, have paused any rollbacks in the state’s reopening phases amid continued signs of a “plateau” in the number of new cases here.
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