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Kansas governor announces Pfizer vaccine now available to ages 12+

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced Wednesday afternoon that due to increasing evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for young people, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will now be available to those ages 12+ in Kansas.

Wednesday’s announcement by the Kansas governor follows the Monday expansion of the emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration and Wednesday’s vote of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and approval by the CDC director.

Kansas providers should now begin opening their vaccine supply to ages 12+. Those under 18 do need written parental consent for vaccination. 

To find a vaccine provider near you, click here or text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX) or in Spanish, text your zip code to 822862 (VACUNA).

The original EUA was issued on December 11, 2020, by the FDA for administration in individuals ages 16 and older.

The sprint to vaccinate millions of middle and high school students has already started in parts of the country, as a long line of kids rolled up their sleeves in suburban Atlanta for a first dose Wednesday.

“It just felt like a flu shot, honestly,” said Meredith Rogers, a 14-year-old middle school student from Decatur, Georgia, after getting her vaccination.

Michelle Rogers, Meredith’s mother, said she hoped the youth vaccinations would help bring some normalcy back.

“A little apprehensive, but you know what? This is a step towards getting life back to normal so, we’re all in,” Michelle Rogers said with a slight fist pump.

A study of more than 2,000 12- to 15-year-olds found the same dose adults use is safe and strongly protective in the kids, too.

Pfizer is not the only company seeking to lower the age limit for its vaccine. Moderna recently said preliminary results from its study in 12- to 17-year-olds show strong protection and no serious side effects, data the FDA will need to scrutinize.

As for even younger children, both companies have begun tests in youngsters ages 6 months to 11 years. Those studies explore if different doses are needed at the youngest ages, and FDA plans to hold a public meeting next month to debate exactly what evidence is needed.

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