The American Academy of Pediatrics urges all eligible adults and teens to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them. AAP — a nonprofit organization of 67,000 pediatricians — continues to push for clinical trials to include younger children as a critical next step in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
“Research has shown the new vaccines to be remarkably effective,” AAP President Lee Savio Beers said in a February statement. “The vaccine is a powerful tool that — in conjunction with other safety measures like face masks, good hygiene and physical distancing — can help us end the suffering and death caused by COVID-19. Pediatricians can play a key role in making that happen.”
The AAP also advocates for pediatricians to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine to older family members or caregivers of children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine and argues that willing pediatric offices could serve as vaccination sites for the general public as part of a community response. Until vaccine trials for ages 16 and younger have concluded, ages 15 and younger are not yet eligible for the vaccination.
Moderna is currently conducting trials of its COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-17, and Pfizer has enrolled ages 12-15 for a new trial of its COVID-19 vaccine. Others pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson and Johnson — whose one-dose vaccine is still pending approval — are in the planning stages for kids trials.
Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and up, while Moderna’s is authorized for adults. The two-dose mRNA vaccines were found to be 94-95 percent effective with no major safety concerns. In addition to the mass COVID-19 vaccination sites at State Farm and Phoenix Municipal stadiums, select Walgreens, Frys and Safeways and other local providers are starting to offer the vaccine to ages 55 and older, teachers and healthcare workers.
Visit azdhs.gov to find out more about the vaccine roll-out in Arizona, call the Arizona COVID-19 Hotline at 1-844-542-8201 or find current vaccination locations at maricopa.gov/5659/COVID-19-Vaccine-Locations