Utah health officials give green light to vaccinate kids ages 12-15 with Pfizer

May 12, 2021, 4:48 PM | Updated: 11:47 pm
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health has given the green light to provide the Pfizer vaccine to Utahns ages 12 through 15.

In a statement, the department said that providers should first become familiar with the guidelines for administering the shots to this age group. And then to start doing so as soon as possible.

Today’s announcement means that there are about 215,000 children in Utah who are now eligible to become vaccinated against COVID-19.

So, when will these vaccinations happen?  State Immunization Director Rich Lakin says the CDC still has one more vote they have to go through before they give their final approval, and that’s scheduled for Thursday morning.  However, he has no reason to believe the approval won’t happen.  Once the final vote takes place, local health department will receive word immediately, and will be able to vaccinate kids in this age groups as soon as doses are available.

“I know that there will be some pharmacies that will be open on Friday and Saturday to start administering,” Lakin says.

He says Utahns need to remember the Pfizer vaccine is trickier to store since it has to be placed in ultra-cold storage.  So, doses may be somewhat limited.

Lakin says, “A smaller physicians’ office probably doesn’t have an ultra-cold freezer.”

However, the state will be able to transport these doses across the state, which will make it easier for smaller health clinics and doctors to administer the vaccine.

“We will try to move that vaccine around to private physicians and others as quickly as possible so that pediatricians and family practitioners can start vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds,” according to Lakin.

Health officials are also keeping a close eye on the Moderna vaccine and when it would be approved for people under the age of 18.  However, Lakin says they cant’ predict when that would happen with any real certainty.

“Usually, Moderna has been running about a month to a month and a half behind Pfizer,” he says.

UDOH officials also say a 13-year-old already received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, by accident, several days ago.  However, since the medicine has been approved by the FDA for younger teens, no actual rules were broken.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Travelers wait in for a TSA security check at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles,...

Pre-pandemic sized crowds descend on US airports for holiday

TSA is reporting crowds of pre-pandemic size are traveling this Independence Day.
2 days ago
The National Weather Service of Salt Lake City says there is a red flag warning in effect for Weste...
Lindsay Aerts

Fourth of July weekend weather conditions ripe for fires

The National Weather Service of Salt Lake City says there is a red flag warning in effect for Western Utah. It warns that many fires are human caused.
2 days ago
Salt Lake County is working to make sure its golf courses don't use as much water in the drought....
Martha Harris

Salt Lake County says it has decreased water-use on its golf courses

Salt Lake County says it has back water usage on its golf courses. The county says it has done by changing how they water.
2 days ago
Back view of two ambulances...
Don Brinkerhoff

Herriman mother saved by off-duty police officer

A Herriman woman feels lucky to be alive after her raft is tipped over and she nearly drowned last week.
2 days ago
Residents stand in front of building destroyed by missiles in Ukraine...
FRANCESCA EBEL Associated Press

Russian missiles kill at least 19 in Ukraine’s Odesa region

The Ukrainian president's office said three Kh-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers struck an apartment building and a campsite.
2 days ago
The Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival will make its in-person comeback from July 28 to Aug. 7. Courte...
Devin Oldroyd

The Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival is coming back to Salt Lake City

The Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival will make its in-person comeback from July 28 to Aug. 7.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah health officials give green light to vaccinate kids ages 12-15 with Pfizer