Children COVID-19 Vaccine
Aidan Mohl, 13, (L) joins others in a waiting room after receiving Pfizer’s vaccine against COVID-19. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

San Diego County health officials expect that sometime Wednesday night, a regional medical group could sign off on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for residents between the ages of 12-15, which could clear the way for administering shots to that age group as soon as Thursday morning.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup — an interstate compact comprised of the public health departments of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado to fight the pandemic — was expected to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for that younger cohort later Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

When that happens, the 175,864 county youths in that age group can make vaccine appointments on the state’s MyTurn page.

All of the county’s static vaccination clinics will have Pfizer vaccines on hand for drop-in appointments — as opposed to the mobile clinics, which use primarily Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Consent from a parent or guardian is required to get the vaccine.

“We’re looking forward to joining with schools, pediatricians and all of our medical partners in the region to vaccinate this new cohort of eligible people,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “The reports from the Food and Drug Administration show the vaccine is extremely effective for young people of these ages, and adding them to our vaccinated roles will better improve public health and protect the vulnerable and those not eligible to be vaccinated.”

Fletcher said the county expects at least 200,000 vaccine doses next week, Pfizer representing two-thirds of them. This follows a week in which the county received 302,030 doses from all vaccine manufacturers.

The county has received 3,699,585 doses of coronavirus vaccine and has administered 3,229,407 of them.

A total of 1,748,016 people have received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, 86.7% of the way toward reaching the county’s goal of vaccinating 75% of San Diego County residents 16 and older, or 2,017,011 people.

A total of 1,286,108 — or 63.8% of the county’s goal — in the 16-or-older age range are fully inoculated with either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Those percentages are likely to change significantly when the 12-15 age cohort is added to county data sometime this week.

— City News Service contributed to this article

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