(Des Moines, IA) Following U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) EUA approval on May 10, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) adopted CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that endorsed the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and its use in 12- through 15-year-old adolescents. "CDC now recommends that this vaccine be used among this population, and providers may begin vaccinating them right away," CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. The CDC will release the MMWR and clinical guidelines for this population on Friday, May 14.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) recognizes this as a critical step forward for the vaccine campaign in Iowa and urges Iowa families to vaccinate their children in this age group. The CDC has also revised administration guidance, stating that COVID-19 and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 and other vaccines on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days.
“We want to emphasize the importance of this vaccine as a tool to keep Iowa kids healthy and encourage families to have a conversation with their children and healthcare provider. Making a plan to get the COVID vaccine as soon as possible helps to ensure that Iowa kids in this age group can safely enjoy their normal summer activities and there’s no interference with other immunizations they may be scheduled to receive,” said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, IDPH Medical Director & State Epidemiologist.
Families should contact their health care provider, local public health department or pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Online resources including VaccinateIowa.gov and https://www.vaccines.gov/ are equipped with provider locator tools so that families can connect to providers in their community.
IDPH estimates that there are approximately 167,000 Iowans in this age group.