Vaccinations of 12-to-15-year-olds begin locally and across Wisconsin


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Coronavirus vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds are beginning in Wisconsin after an advisory committee for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the inoculations for younger children.

The Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses for full protection, is the first and only vaccine available for the age group.

The coronavirus accounted for 1.3% of all deaths among adolescents between Jan. 1, 2020, and April 30, or 127 deaths overall.

In Wisconsin, there have been three deaths from COVID-19 of people age 19 and under.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin declined for the 10th consecutive day Wednesday to 492, down 297 cases from a month ago.

RELATED: Find local vaccine and vaccination information here

(WXOW) – Both Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System are set to start offering the Pfizer vaccine to 12-to-15-year-olds.

Gundersen plans to begin administering the vaccine on Friday, May 14.

Mayo Clinic Health System said it was making the Pfizer vaccine available to that age group starting with a vaccination clinic on Thursday (5/13) at the Boys & Girls Club at 1331 Clinton Street. Those wanting to come to the vaccination clinics are asked to pre-register. To do so, they can call 608-782-3926.

Weber Health is also administering the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine to adolescents ages 12-15. Walk-ins and appointments are available at their 333 Front St. N La Crosse Clinic on Thursday, May 13 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday, May 14 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

For all three locations, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for consent. All vaccines are available at no cost. Health insurance is not required.

From Gundersen Health System regarding vaccination questions:

What else do I need to know about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and kids? 

CDC and FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine comes after thorough review of clinical trial data and will include intense safety monitoring as young people receive the vaccine. 

While not everyone experiences the same side effects, the most common side effects among kids during Pfizer’s clinical trials were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain, especially after the second dose. 

Like adults, the Pfizer vaccine should not be given to kids with a history of severe allergic reactions. A very small number of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported among the millions of vaccine doses provided in the United States. 

Why should kids get the COVID-19 vaccine? 

According to the FDA, more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States in March and April among kids ages 11 to 17. While the virus is usually milder in kids than in adults, kids can still get very sick and have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health. 

Kids can also transmit COVID-19 to others, even when are not showing symptoms. COVID-19 vaccine protects kids and those around them (parents, siblings, grandparents, friends), especially those at greater risk of severe illness. 

Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine also reduces the number of infections in the community and give the virus less opportunity to mutate and contribute to variants in our community, some of which are more dangerous and can be resistant to vaccine. 

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