COVID-19 Vaccine Symbolic Creative Photo

(Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON STATE- The Western States Scientific Safety Review Pact including Washington, Oregon and California state health departments have approved the expansion of the use of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for those 12 years old and older. 

The Washington State Department of Health says all vaccine sites in the state can expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone 12 and older. The state says the pact review shows it is effective to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19 in ages 12 and up. 

This comes after the Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer the emergency use for those 12 and older on Monday. 

“Expanding eligibility to this younger age group protects our children and gives families peace of mind. It is the best step we can take as parents to ensure our kids remain in the classroom, can safely spend time with friends, and take part in sports and extracurricular activities,” said Umair A. Shah. MD, MPH.

The Washington State Health Department calls the expansion of the vaccine as a way to show the safety of the vaccine in these age groups. 

“Research continues to show this vaccine is safe and I am thrilled it is now an option for parents and their young teens, said Shah. 

To schedule an appointment, visit Vaccine Locator, which shows nearby providers and lists vaccine type. When scheduling an appointment for someone 12 to 17, make sure the location you choose administers the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only vaccine currently authorized for people that age. Children 12 years old to 18 years old need to have a aprent consent form or a parent present to get the vaccine. If you have questions or need help scheduling an appointment, call the state’s new COVID-19 vaccination number 833-VAX-HELP. Language assistance is available. 

Looking forward, Pfizer recently announced it plans to seek authorization for its vaccine for 2 to 11-year-olds this fall, and for children 6 months to 2 years old at the end of 2021.