Today, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued nationwide recommendations for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as a safe and effective measure for protecting young people ages 12 and older from COVID-19.
Immediately after this federal announcement, DHEC provided notification to all of our state’s vaccine providers with information about this federal recommendation as well as the current Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for administering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older.
From the CDC:
“Though most children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, some children can get severely ill and require hospitalization. There have also been rare, tragic cases of children dying from COVID-19 and its effects, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.
This official CDC recommendation follows Monday’s FDA decision to authorize emergency use of this vaccine in 12- through 15-year-old adolescents, and is another important step to getting out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and closer to normalcy.”
Consent is required by a parent or legal guardian for children ages 12-15 before they can receive their Pfizer vaccine, and all vaccine providers have their own unique immunization consent forms. A copy of the current EUA fact sheet for the Pfizer vaccine will be provided at the time of consent or when those 12 and older receive their first shot. As a reminder, in South Carolina, those 16 and older do not need parental consent to receive a vaccine from an authorized vaccine provider.
Earlier today, DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer and DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler provided updates about this anticipated announcement from the CDC; a recording is available here.
It’s important to remember that two doses of Pfizer vaccine are required to reach full protection, with those shots issued 21 days apart. Please schedule your second appointment while you’re at your first-dose appointment.
DHEC encourages all South Carolinians who have not yet received their vaccination to get their Pfizer, Moderna or Janssen shots as soon as possible. Getting your COVID-19 vaccine has never been easier, with many clinics offering extended hours with no appointments and no ID or insurance required.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they are helping save lives. These vaccines are how we end this pandemic once and for all.