BY HEATHER WALTERS
State and national health officials now say children as young as 12 years old can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the national Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced last week that the Pfizer vaccine is “safe and effective” in protecting youth as young as 12 years old from the COVID-19 respiratory virus.
The decision also followed the Federal Drug Administration’s decision on Monday that allowed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be used in youth 12 through 15 years old.
Currently, any South Carolina resident age 16 or older can receive the vaccine. This is a state DHEC policy. Until now, however, the CDC has only recommended teens 16 or older receive the vaccine.
“Though most children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, some children can get severely ill and require hospitalization. There have also been rare, tragic cases of children dying from COVID-19 and its effects, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C,” according to information provided to the media from the CDC.
According to DHEC, consent is required by a parent for a youth age 12 to 15 to receive the vaccine. In South Carolina, anyone age 16 and older do not need parental consent to receive a vaccine from an authorized vaccine provider.
“DHEC encourages all South Carolinians who have not yet received their vaccination to get their Pfizer, Moderna or Janssen shots as soon as possible. Getting your COVID-19 vaccine has never been easier, with many clinics offering extended hours with no appointments and no ID or insurance required,” as stated in a DHEC press release. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they are helping save lives. These vaccines are how we end this pandemic once and for all.”