Area health networks, including Lehigh Valley Health Network, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and Geisinger Health System, will now offer the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine to children ages 12 to 15.
This vaccine is the first and, thus far, the only COVID vaccine approved for this age group, according to Bethlehem-based SLUHN.
“Timing is critical, as children and parents prepare for various social, group activities like athletics, vacations and, in a few months, a return to school, all of which raise risks for virus transmission,” says Dr. Jennifer Janco, SLUHN chief of pediatrics. She has been receiving inquiries from parents looking for the vaccine for their children, which is encouraging for her, she says.
The clinical trial data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration demonstrated 100 percent effectiveness at preventing disease in this age group, reports Allentown-based LVHN. which now represents nearly 20 percent of current COVID-19 infections reports Allentown-based LVHN.
“We at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital are encouraging parents to get their child vaccinated for their safety, as well as the safety of their family,” says Dr. J. Nathan Hagstrom, chief of pediatrics at LVHN’s Reilly Children’s Hospital.
Anyone under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the health networks are free.