WASHINGTON — Children's National Hospital says they are now pre-registering kids who are between the ages of 12 and 15 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in D.C. and Prince George's County.
This step comes even before Pfizer has announced a change in eligibility, since the Food and Drug Administration has not approved COVID-19 vaccines for children younger than 16 years old. That could change soon, though.
The FDA is expected to authorize use of the Pfizer vaccine for young adults 12 and older by next week, a federal official and a person familiar with the process told the Associated Press.
If that authorization is granted, Children’s National will reach out to families when their child becomes eligible for the vaccine, the hospital said in a release Wednesday.
Residents in D.C. and Prince George's County who want to be placed on a waitlist, should fill out the hospital's pre-registration form here.
Children's National is the first hospital in the Washington region to offer pre-registration for children younger than 16.
The news of a waitlist for younger people comes as Prince George's County continues to fight reluctance in adults to get a COVID shot. Volunteers are now going door to door to personally urge residents to make an appointment. The county expects to knock on at least 266,000 doors.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, more than 2 million Marylanders are now fully vaccinated statewide and COVID rates are dropping.
But Prince George’s is lagging compared to leading counties like Montgomery and Howard with only 36% of the population now vaccinated.
Pfizer in late March released preliminary results from a vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, showing there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared with 18 among those given dummy shots.
Kids had side effects similar to young adults, the company said. The main side effects are pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose. The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.
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