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Montgomery Co. will allow kids 12 – 15 to get Pfizer vaccine without a parent. But, parental consent is still needed in advance

“Hopefully it will remove some of the potential barriers that may prevent some of the children from being able to come in."

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — In a move meant to lower possible barriers for adolescents to quickly receive the Pfizer vaccine, Montgomery County’s top health official said parents would no longer need to accompany their 12 — 15-year-olds to vaccination appointments.

However, parental consent would still be necessary in advance, officials said. The county’s top health official told reporters Wednesday parents could grant consent ahead of time by pre-registering their children for appointments online.

“Children will also need to bring some proof of identity to confirm their age,” said Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County’s health officer. “Whether it’s a birth certificate, some type of state I.D., a passport, or their school I.D.”

Parents are additionally still required to accompany minors at state mass vaccination sites. The only mass vaccination location within the county is found within Montgomery College in Germantown.

The county’s move, adjusted from policies announced a day earlier, is to help children who may have working parents. Officials noted adolescents might have free time on their hands, but needed guardians to take off from work to accompany them.

“Hopefully it will remove some of the potential barriers that may prevent some of the children from being able to come in,” Gayles said. “We will be standing up additional clinics over the weekend, to help facilitate and foster this increased eligibility.”

Gayles added the county will be adding vaccine clinics within Montgomery schools, in order to rapidly vaccinate the youth population.

“We are working with our partners in both the nonpublic school group, as well as MCPS, to identify some potential sites within the next week,” Gayles offered. “To do some youth-specific clinics to be able to, again, increase access points, to get that population covered.”

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