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New York City is prepared to begin administering Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to kids 12 to 15 years old as soon as Thursday — with the CDC expected to green-light emergency use authorization of the two-dose shot to children in that age group Wednesday afternoon.
“We are thoroughly convinced that they will support this effort and approve the ability to go ahead with Pfizer vaccines for young people,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing Wednesday.
“So the Zoomers are going to be eligible and we are now zooming into action,” de Blasio quipped as he added, “We have a full plan to reach young New Yorkers and get them vaccinated.”
But because only Pfizer’s shot — and not yet those from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson — is set to be approved so far, teens won’t just be able to walk into any vaccine site in the city to get jabbed.
Once the vaccine is available for youths, parents or guardians can find 250 immunization sites that offer the Pfizer shot via the Big Apple’s Vaccine Finder website, city health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said.
Those sites include some of the city’s “most iconic” vaccination locations like the American Museum of Natural History, Citi Field and Staten Island’s Empire Outlets, he noted.
Although the city’s vaccine sites are open for walk-ins, he encouraged folks to make an appointment by visiting https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/.
“We will be making appointments available as soon as possible after the CDC decision,” Chokshi said.
Kids in that age group will also need to have consent to get the vaccine “from a parent or guardian either in person, over the phone or via a written form,” he said.
“So speak to your doctor about getting your child vaccinated or yourself,” Chokshi said. “As a parent and as the city’s doctor, I urge you to get an appointment. The vaccine will protect your child, your family and your community.”
The Health Department chief, citing an FDA report, noted that the “safety profile” of the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds “is strong.”
“It’s the same vaccine that has already been administered safely to millions of adults. It will be at the same strength — that means the same dose,” he said. “And no other safety signals have been detected in the young age group.”
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