Arizona-run vaccination sites, such as Gila River Arena in Glendale, along with many pharmacies and other providers around the state, will begin offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to children 12 to 15 years old on Thursday, May 13.
This step forward follows Wednesday’s approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gila River Arena is at 9400 W. Maryland Ave.
“This is great news for families across Arizona,” Arizona Department of Health Services director Dr. Cara Christ stated in a May 12 news release. “In addition to encouraging parents and guardians to protect those ages 12 to 15 from COVID-19, we hope adults in the family will roll up their sleeves as well if they haven’t already done so.”
The city of Glendale experienced a 2.3% percent increase in coronavirus cases from April 19 through May 10.
Arizona has nearly 400,000 children ages 12 to 15. To date, 5,408,077 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to 3,076,913 individuals, with 2,534,272 now fully vaccinated.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for age 12-15 on Monday, followed by Wednesday’s CDC recommendation. The approval applies only to the Pfizer vaccine, which has been available to ages 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 and older.
Beginning Thursday morning, parents and guardians may bring those ages 12 to 15 to state vaccination sites as walk-ins or schedule an appointment at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Many pharmacies and other providers with Pfizer also plan to begin vaccinating this age group Thursday. The ADHS vaccine finder available at azdhs.gov/FindVaccine allows visitors to filter locations by vaccine type.
ADHS is coordinating with rural counties that until now have received only the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines so 12- to 15-year-olds can get vaccinated.
A parent or guardian must accompany the child and sign a consent form in person that includes an attestation that the child is at least 12 years old. No identification is required for the child. Place of permanent residence isn’t a factor in whether someone can be vaccinated at a state site.
Parents and guardians also will be able to register those ages 12 to 15 for vaccination starting Thursday by visiting podvaccine.azdhs.gov or calling 844-542-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to be connected with someone who can assist in English or Spanish. Appointments aren’t required for state-run sites, but they are a way to reduce the length of a visit because registration is taken care of in advance.
Many sites across Arizona now offer COVID-19 vaccines, including grocery store pharmacies and standalone pharmacies. Doctors’ offices and other neighborhood healthcare providers can order vaccine directly from the CDC.
“These safe, highly effective, and free vaccines have never been easier to get,” Dr. Christ said. “The sooner we can get as many people as possible vaccinated against COVID-19, the better we can protect people of all ages from this unpredictable virus.”