Children between the ages of 12 and 15 can get vaccinated against COVID-19 in New York effective immediately.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the younger age group’s inclusion in the state vaccination efforts following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 years of age.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

New York’s vaccine advisory task force and state health commissioner reviewed safety data as well before going along with the CDC recommendation.

National pharmacy chain, CVS, had already said Wednesday, May 12 that they’re prepared to start vaccinating children ages 12 to 15 as early as Thursday, May 13 and President Joe Biden backed the move.

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Cuomo had said the state’s task force had to review the data and make a recommendation to him before New York would start vaccinating the younger teens.

Some parents are welcoming the opening of the program to their younger children just before the plans for summer travel. Others say they are waiting to see if there are any additional side effects or complications before vaccinating their children. Some are opting to hold off unless schools require the shots and a few others flat out say they will not allow their children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Trials of the Pfizer vaccine have shown it to be 100% effective in preventing the disease in teens. The dosage for the children is the same as is given to adults.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only shot approved for residents under the age of 18.

Broome County has been distributing mainly Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines recently but Health officials say the Pfizer is also available.

The New York State-operated mass-vaccination site at the former Gannett publishing facility in Johnson City next to the Walmart also has the Pfizer vaccine available.  Appointments are being taken but are not necessary in order to get the shot.

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