Here's where you can get your children aged 12-15 vaccinated

NOW: Here’s where you can get your children aged 12-15 vaccinated

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wednesday was a day many parents have long awaited, as advisers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to children as young as 12.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said 300,000 people fall in the 12 to 15 age range. Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said the data speaks for itself.

"In the clinical trials for this age group, nobody who received the vaccine was infected with COVID-19. You can't get better than that," she said.

She encourages families to turn vaccinations into family outings. Permission from a parent or guardian will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We're really eager to invite the 12 to 15 year-olds into this fold," Willems Van Dijk said. "If 12 to 15 year-olds' parents haven't gotten vaccinated, great time to make this a family event and have everyone get vaccinated together."

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer for the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases, said he already made an appointment for his 12-year-old child. He has two other children who are younger than 12 and aren't yet eligible for the vaccine.

"It's something that we're celebrating amongst ourselves ... Our family, our community, I think will be better off when we can get more young people vaccinated," Westergaard said.

Several local health departments and pharmacies have already started scheduling appointments.

Fourteen CVS locations across Wisconsin will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to children 12 to 15 on Thursday, May 13, according to CVS Health. Parent or legal guardian consent is required, and children must be accompanied by an adult. They are encouraged to schedule an appointment at CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app, but walk-ins are also accepted. 

Walgreens stores are also offering the COVID-19 vaccine to ages 12 and up based on FDA and CDC recommendations, according to the store's website. There are 60 locations in southern Wisconsin and around 100 locations statewide offering COVID-19 vaccines.

Hayat Pharmacy will start administering the Pfizer vaccine to children 12 and older this week. Parents can schedule tentative appointments starting Thursday, May 13. The clinic will be held outdoors, according to the pharmacy's website.

Anyone at least 12 years old will be able to get vaccinated at all Milwaukee Health Department sites starting on Thursday, May 13, according to a spokesperson for the health department. That includes the Wisconsin Center, Northwest Health Center, Southside Health Center and mobile vaccination clinics. More information will be available at healthymke.com.

The Jefferson County Health Department is hosting a walk-in clinic on Thursday, May 20 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. for children aged 12 to 15 at the Johnson Creek Premium Outlet Mall. The address is 575 W. Linmar Lane #A40 in Johnson Creek, and the site is next door to the Nike Outlet Store. No appointment is required, but supply may be limited next week. 

Samroz Jakvani, an epidemiologist and public information officer for the Jefferson County Health Department, said he hopes vaccinating teens will help the department control the recent increase in COVID-19 cases among young people.

"Over the past three to four weeks, we've seen a number of cases arise in schools. Case rates for the age group have increased significantly. We're seeing a lot of cases arise from sports activities after school, and I think once we have a significant portion of this group vaccinated, we'll see the impact of that on our case rates," Jakvani said.

The Wauwatosa Health Department will hold vaccine clinics on May 20 and May 22 at Wauwatosa City Hall for anyone who is at least 12 years old. Appointments are required. Health Officer Laura Stephens said appointments are filling up quickly.

"We're trying to vaccinate as many people as we possibly can. That next age group is a huge piece of that," Stephens said.

She said getting children vaccinated is important so they do not transmit the COVID-19 virus to family members and other vulnerable people.

"Kids are less affected by COVID, but as we see more of the variants coming out, that story might be changing slightly. So it's really important to get them vaccinated to protect the kids from the virus itself, but also protect the communities around them," Stephens said.

Parents who are looking for the Pfizer vaccine in their area can go to vaccines.gov. They can also call the state's hotline at 1-844-684-1064 if they need help.

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