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New York City Begins Offering Pfizer Vaccine To Kids Ages 12-15 After CDC Approval

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Children ages 12-15 can start getting Pfizer's COVID vaccine at some 250 locations in New York City on Thursday.

The CDC formally approved the shot for older kids earlier this week.

According to the CDC, a survey showed 46 to 60 percent of parents said they will get their kids vaccinated.

Those who won't cite safety concerns related to how quickly the vaccine was developed.

During the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices public meeting Wednesday, evidence was presented to show that the benefits of the Pfizer vaccine outweigh any negatives.

"For all persons aged 12 to 15 years, there were zero cases among 1,001 persons in the vaccine arm and 16 cases among 972 persons in the placebo arm, which resulted in a vaccine efficacy estimate of 100%," the committee member said.


The data says to date there have been over 1.5 million reported cases and 13,000 hospitalizations among kids 12-17, and 127 COVID deaths for that age group.

"While this sounds low, it's worth noting that this would still be in the top 10 causes of deaths among children in 2019, which is the last year that we have top 10 causes of death for comparison," the committee member said.

CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported the Pfizer vaccine for teens and tweens is the same as for adults. The same two doses three weeks apart have proven to be extraordinarily safe and even 100% effective in clinical trials on adolescents.

Like adults, some children (it's impossible to predict which ones) will develop some unpleasant side effects, including fever, body aches, sore arm, fatigue, headache and nausea. These are more common after the second shot and generally only last one to three days.


Still, you might want to think about when the best time is to get the vaccine.

"Whatever plans you're making, whether it's exams, vacation, probably not the best time to get that second dose. You don't want a child or an adolescent going into an exam the day after the second dose because they're likely to feel miserable," said Dr. Thomas Murray of Yale New Haven Children's Hospital.

Murray suggests ibuprofen or Tylenol as well as plenty of hydration, but only if side effects show up, not before.

New York City officials want to get all parents on board.

"Actively working with community pediatricians and the Department of Education, who will be critical to both administering the vaccine, as well as communicating with parents and guardians about its safety," Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said.

The Department of Health said it has allocated vaccines to all providers who requested an order, so residents are encouraged to see their child's pediatrician.

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