Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech is available to residents in Connecticut between the ages of 12 to 15 at all clinics in the state that are offering that vaccine. The expansion of Connecticut’s vaccine program follows on the heels of this afternoon’s decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to recommend the vaccine for this age group.
Parents and legal guardians of roughly 170,000 Connecticut residents between the ages of 12 to 15 can now sign their children up for an appointment or visit one of the many clinics that are accepting walk-up patients. Parents and guardians are urged to note that only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for this younger age group, so they should only seek clinics that are offering this particular vaccine.
“The vaccine is safe, effective, and saving lives,” Governor Lamont said. “Expanding the vaccination program to this age group is going to be incredibly beneficial in terms of getting our schools back to normal and encouraging safe, summer enrichment activities.”
“This is welcome news for many parents, school officials, summer camp directors, and students themselves,” Connecticut Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “Getting this age group vaccinated is a great way to start the summer for many children and their families. While COVID-19 generally doesn’t affect children as severely as adults, children are not immune from contracting and getting sick with the virus, nor are they immune from spreading it to adults and others who may not be able to be vaccinated. I strongly urge parents with children in this age group to get your children vaccinated.”
According to Dr. Gifford, the state anticipates working with local health and school districts to stand up clinics in schools and summer youth programs, similar to what was done when the vaccine program expanded to include 16 and 17-year-olds. Parents can expect communications from participating school districts or can reach out to their school districts to inquire about available school-sponsored clinics.
Individuals between the ages of 12 and 15 can be vaccinated at any clinic that is offering the Pfizer vaccine, as long as they are accompanied by or have the consent of their parent or legal guardian.
Vaccine providers offering the Pfizer vaccine include many pharmacies (including many CVS, Walgreens and RiteAid locations), the state’s mass drive-through vaccination sites run in partnership with CHC Inc, as well as many hospital locations (including Bristol Hospital, Day Kimball, Griffin, Hartford Healthcare, Middlesex, Trinity Health of New England, Waterbury, and Yale New Haven).
Most pediatrician offices will not yet have the Pfizer vaccine available for patients. Pfizer’s minimum order size of 1,170 doses and its maximum storage time in a regular freezer of 14 days makes it difficult for individual pediatric offices to provide the vaccine to their patients. Some offices may partner with existing vaccine providers, however. Any doctor who is partnering with a vaccine provider should communicate directly with their patients to offer the vaccine.
As of Tuesday, May 11, more than 71% of Connecticut residents over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 56% are fully vaccinated, the highest rate in the nation.
Individuals with questions about the COVID-19 vaccination program or who would like to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine can visit ct.gov/covidvaccine. A list of walk-up clinics that do not require appointments in advance can be found at ct.gov/covidvaccine/walkup.
Those who have further questions or do not have access to the internet can call Connecticut’s COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224.