Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are announcing that parents and guardians can now register children 12 to 15 years of age to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This follows the announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday granting an Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group.
"COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective," said Governor Dan McKee. "I'm urging all parents to get their 12- to 15-year-olds vaccinated. This vaccine will help keep kids, families, and our community safe."
"The Pfizer vaccine was rigorously studied before it was made available to children 12 to 15 years of age, and we are doing on-going monitoring after administering more than 100 million doses to adults in the U.S. over the last five months," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "Getting the child in your life vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most important things you can do to make sure their summer is healthy and safe."
Parents and guardians can give consent and make appointments for Pfizer vaccine for children on vaccinateRI.org. (Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccine are still only available to be people 18 years of age and older.) It is recommended that children be accompanied by an adult for appointments at the State's mass vaccination sites. Walk-up vaccination opportunities are also available at the sites at Sockanosset Cross Road (100 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston), the Dunkin' Donuts Center (1 La Salle Square, Providence), and in Middletown (1400 West Main Road, Middletown).
RIDOH will also be working with cities, towns, and school departments to offer clinics in schools. (Schools have already been offering vaccine to students 16 and older.) Additionally, it is anticipated that the large pharmacy chains will start offering vaccine to children in this age group later this week.
Largely because children cannot be vaccinated, and because more contagious variants of COVID-19 are now circulating in Rhode Island, an increased proportion of Rhode Island's COVID-19 cases are now among children. In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was extremely effective at preventing COVID-19 in children 12 to 15 years of age. The vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection with symptoms and led to a strong antibody response.
Additional information about COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island is available online: https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination