The FDA on Monday approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids as young as 12, which means Central Oregonians can now register 12-15 year-olds to get the vaccine.
It’s welcome news for local health officials who are hoping to get as many residents as possible vaccinated.
“I have been very encouraged with the safety and efficiency of this vaccine so far,” said Dr. Cynthia Maree, Medical Director of Infection Prevention for St. Charles in Bend. “We have given out millions of doses and when you look at the studies in adolescents, they are very encouraging. 100% efficiency. That’s amazing.”
Maree says clinical trials of the vaccine show even fewer side effects in kids than adults.
“We do think this has incredible protection in this population,” she said. “They seem to be creating a great response when it comes to antibodies.”
Some on social media have questioned whether the vaccine disrupts fertility in adolescents.
Maree says there is no proof that is true for either gender.
“In fact, it is recommended for women who are trying to become pregnant or are pregnant because of the risk of getting COVID when your pregnancy is severe,” said Maree.
She points out the vaccine protects young people from contracting the virus, which could cause long term health effects.
Maree says it also helps protect others.
“We want to decrease the spread of COVID in our communities and so in order to achieve that we really need everyone to be vaccinated,” Maree added.
Public Health plans to make the shot available for kids at local clinics and pharmacies, just as it is for adults.