race for a vaccine

Contra Costa County Reacts to Pfizer Announcing COVID-19 Vaccine Safe for Teens

The county has nearly tripled the number of doses it’s getting from the state and federal governments since the start of March

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Big news when it comes to teenagers and COVID-19 vaccines. Younger teenagers could soon be eligible for the vaccine.

On Wednesday, Pfizer announced its vaccine is 100% effective in children between the ages of 12 and 15. More than 2,200 young teenagers were enrolled in a trial in the United States.

Contra Costa County has enough vaccines to offer it to everyone. As of Wednesday morning, they opened signups to residents 16 and older.

43-year-old Joy Okere and her 16-year-old son Joshua didn’t hesitate to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Over a million people have died from this thing. That’s all I need to know. It’s serious and I want my kid to be alive,” she said.

Okere got her first dose Wednesday and her teenage son, a high school basketball player, will get his first shot on Friday.

“He’s going to practice, there’s more exposure so I want to make sure he’s safe and he’s not getting sick or transmitting anything to anyone else” she added.

While teenagers 16 and up are now signing up to get their shots in Contra Costa County, health officials say it likely won’t be long before even younger kids get to as well.

Health officials say they expect the FDA to approve it for that age group within weeks.

“I am hoping it gets approved relatively quickly, we can start over the summer get kids vaccinated so schools in August and September can be at full strength,” said Dr Ken Gullon with Kaiser Permanente.

Okere said she hopes all children get the chance to get vaccinated if scientists conclude its safe. She’s ready to leave the fear of COVID-19 behind.

“The fear of catching it and dying is worse than getting the vaccine. To me it’s a no brainer,” She said.

Clinical trials of kids younger than 12 are also underway. Pfizer hopes the vaccine is available to those younger children early next year.

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