On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced COVID-19 Pfizer vaccinations will now be available to Ohio’s youth, age 12 years and older, following members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommending use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for this age group today. This follows the FDA’s update of the emergency use authorization (EUA) on Monday to include youth ages 12-15.
“This is promising news for Ohioans, making vaccine available to more people will help us return to the life we want to live. The COVID-19 vaccine is incredibly powerful, and by protecting more individuals, we make everyone safer,” said Governor DeWine. “We have worked proactively with the American Academy of Pediatrics – Ohio Chapter, children’s hospitals, and other providers to make sure they would be prepared to begin offering this vaccine to Ohio’s youth. I appreciate all they have done to prepare for this next phase.”
Children under age 18 who are not emancipated must have parental consent for any vaccine. A parent or legal guardian generally should accompany the minor to receive the vaccine, unless the administration of the vaccine occurs in a physician’s office, school-based or school-associated clinic setting or similar setting.
There are hundreds of locations at which youth ages 12-15 can be vaccinated across the state, including pediatrician’s offices, vaccine clinics, local health departments, hospitals, community health centers, and more. However, parents of 12-year-olds should be advised that due to current state law, those age 12 must have a prescription to be vaccinated at a pharmacy. Youth ages 13 and older do not need a prescription and may receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy or any other vaccine provider listed at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. A bill has been introduced that would permit youth ages 7-12 to receive a COVID-19 or influenza vaccination at a pharmacy without a prescription. Prescriptions would still be required for all other vaccinations for this age group. Members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate have passed the bill. Once the bill is signed by the governor, it will immediately go into effect.
The Ohio Department of Health has also released a Frequently Asked Questions for Parents, Guardians, and Youth Ages 12-17 Eligible for the Pfizer Vaccine.
Governor DeWine also announced today that anyone age 12 and older can get their first Pfizer dose at the Wolstein Center Mass Vaccination Clinic in downtown Cleveland from May 18 through May 31. Appointments during this time period had initially been reserved for second doses only, but the site will expand to also offer first doses to anyone who has not yet been vaccinated, including those in the expanded eligibility category.
Youth ages 12-17 who are not emancipated must have consent from and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to be vaccinated at the Wolstein Center. Second dose appointments will be scheduled at the time of the first dose, but because the mass vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center will close in early June, those vaccinated at the clinic from May 18 through May 31 will be scheduled to receive their second dose at an area Discount Drug Mart location.
The state-federal mass vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center, which is located at 2000 Prospect Avenue and open 7 days a week, has administered hundreds of thousands of vaccines since launching in March. Walk-ins are welcome from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or appointments can be scheduled at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). Parking is free and transportation assistance for those living in Cuyahoga County is available by calling 2-1-1.