As of May 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced final emergency use authorization and recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. Children’s Colorado is contacting all patients ages 12 and older to offer the opportunity to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at our hospitals in Aurora or Colorado Springs.
“Children’s Hospital Colorado is excited to welcome adolescents ages 12 and older to our vaccine clinics,” said David Brumbaugh, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “We encourage everyone to learn about the COVID-19 vaccines and get vaccinated as soon as they are able. The more people who can get vaccinated, the better we can protect our community and get back to some normalcy – and back to life.”
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine proven safe and effective for ages 12+
With the eagerly anticipated recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages 12 and older, many more children are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is an important milestone in the pandemic and offers parents and families the chance to protect their children against the virus and its emerging variants.
The FDA and CDC analysis of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine trials in children ages 12 to 15 found the vaccine to be 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 among trial participants. The emergency use authorization and official CDC recommendation signal that the vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 12 and older and that the benefits of the vaccine’s protection outweigh any risks. Getting the vaccine helps keep adolescents safe and protected from the risks of COVID-19.
“The evidence is clear,” said Sean, O’Leary, MD, MPH, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Colorado and member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “Not only is the Pfizer vaccine incredibly effective in kids ages 12 and older, it’s incredibly safe.”
Learn more about how the COVID-19 vaccines were developed.
How to sign up
Children’s Colorado has implemented a new web portal that allows eligible individuals to add themselves to a vaccine registration system. The web portal works on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parents can sign up to book a vaccine appointment for their child at our hospitals on Anschutz Medical Campus or in Colorado Springs at the Memorial North campus. Adults and community members can also register to receive the vaccine at these same Children’s Colorado locations.
Learn how to register to get vaccinated
Impacts of COVID-19 on children
“Though COVID-19 has been less severe in children than adults, it is not benign in kids,” said Dr. O’Leary. “In fact, we’ve seen tens of thousands of cases and hospitalizations in kids – and several hundred deaths – throughout the pandemic. Getting children immunized protects the children themselves, as well as their younger siblings who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. We encourage parents to contact their child’s pediatrician with questions and to sign their kids up for a vaccine appointment at the earliest opportunity.”
Our role in vaccine distribution
Children’s Colorado began vaccinating healthcare providers, first responders, teachers and teenage patients at high risk from COVID-19 in the earlier phases of the vaccine rollout. In early April, the pediatric health system’s vaccine clinics opened to the general public.
“Children’s Hospital Colorado has proudly partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to vaccinate eligible Coloradans against COVID-19 from the beginning,” said Jerrod Milton, Chief Clinical Officer. “Early on, we made the determination to offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine exclusively. Because the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine continues to be the first safe and effective vaccine authorized for younger groups, this positions Children’s Hospital Colorado to help protect even more children and families in our community, sooner.”
Data on vaccines for younger children expected soon
We believe finding safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 for all ages is key to defeating this pandemic and protecting everyone from this devastating disease. Leaders at Children’s Colorado are closely monitoring the scientific evidence surrounding the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in children younger than 12, including by participating as a study site in the Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial. We recognize how important it will be to get more children vaccinated when we know it’s safe to do so.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 remains critical
Remember, stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available to us. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and new coronavirus variants, we should continue taking precautions, including social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand washing, even if you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine. We must continue to take these precautions until a vaccine is widely available and the majority of the population, including children, has been vaccinated.
For the latest on what parents should know during the pandemic, please see our family-friendly COVID-19 resources.