HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pfizer vaccine is expected to get the final green light to vaccinate people ages 12-15-year-old, but before that can happen, a CDC advisory group has to review the data and make a final recommendation. The group is expected to meet on Wednesday. The Pennsylvania Department of Health says Pennsylvania vaccine providers should be ready for vaccination requests by the end of the week.
The Pfizer vaccine is the same that’s been used for adults and kids can expect the same side effects.
“I would be prepared for a flu-like illness, fevers, chills, sweats, muscle aches and be prepared to treat it with Tylenol or Motrin,” Dr. John Goldman, infectious disease specialist at UPMC Pinnacle said.
Dr. Goldman says vaccinating this age group will be a big help in slowing the spread of the virus and its variants. According to the Department of Health, there are 750,000 12-15-year-olds in Pennsylvania.
“If we continue to vaccinate and we get this age group vaccinated, we get a lot more of people vaccinated and we get a lot closer to herd immunity and a lot closer to life returning to normal,” Goldman said.
“I have 12-year-old and 15-year-old sons at home and I will have them in line as soon as we can get them vaccinated,” Dr. Mark Goedecker, Vice President and Regional Medical Director of WellSpan Health said.
Dr. Goedecker says there a concern that not every parent will be on board.
“I think the important thing for parents to know is that the Pfizer vaccine, it’s been studied, it’s safe,” Goedecker said.
Getting the shot for younger teens depends on which vaccine provider has the Pfizer shot. Dr. Goedecker says larger vaccine sites will still play a big role.
“Down the road, as numbers decline, we are planning on moving it back into the pediatrics and the family doctor’s offices,” Goedecker said.
Not every pediatric office or family doctor is capable of storing the Pfizer vaccine. You can call your provider to see what vaccine they offer.