WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) -- Following the approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids age 12 and older, the Iowa Department of Public Health is asking families to vaccinate the approximately 167,000 Iowans between 12-15.
Before the full emergency use authorization for those 12-15, the Pfizer vaccine had been available for those 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still available for adults 18 and older.
As the CDC is expected to release the MMWR and clinical guidelines for children 12-15 on Friday, May 14, the IDPH is urging families to vaccinate their eligible children as soon as possible.
“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," Dr. Caitlin Pedati, IDPH Medical Director & State Epidemiologist, said. "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.”
According to the IDPH, the CDC has revised administrative guidance so that the COVID-19 vaccine can now be administered at the same time as other vaccines. The CDC guidance says that the COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine can be administered on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days.
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.
With children 12 and older now being eligible, local walk-in vaccination clinics will also begin accepting the new age group.
The Black Hawk County Health Department is holding a walk-in vaccine clinic this weekend, the details are below:
- WHEN: Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- WHERE: The Hippodrome - National Cattle Congress
257 Ansborough Ave, Waterloo Iowa
- ID cards not required, will need to provide contact information and complete consent form. Visit www.bhcpublichealth.org if you cannot commit to the second appointment.
"We want everyone to enjoy their celebrations, graduation parties, vacations, and gatherings with their friends this summer," Black Hawk County Health Director Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye said. "Vaccination means less worry about having to miss out on these activities due to concerns of COVID-19 exposure and is the best way to protect yourself, your family and friends."