Adolescents Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccination
On May 10, 2021, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12 years of age and older. On May 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued guidance endorsing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for the adolescent age group and recommended its use. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also issued a statement recommending the use of the vaccine in the adolescent age group.
With CDC approval, all providers with Pfizer vaccine on hand should begin to vaccinate young people in that age group. The vaccine must be administered in accordance with the FDA’s updated emergency use authorization (EUA). All vaccine recipients, or a parent or guardian if the recipient is a minor, must be given the fact sheet for recipients and caregivers prior to vaccination.
As a reminder, in Texas, parental consent is required for the vaccination of children in this age group. Consent may be given orally or in writing; the parent does not need to be present for the adolescent to be vaccinated. Please review and download the resources listed below:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Letter of Authorization
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering the Vaccine (Vaccination Providers)
Texas Department of State and Health Services (DSHS) is also asking providers to encourage all vaccine recipients or their parents/guardians to consider enrolling in V-safe, the CDC’s tool that provides health check-ins after someone receives a COVID-19 vaccine, For more information, please visit the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker webpage.
Additional important reminders and reporting requirements:
- Only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for immunizing adolescents 12 years and older. Both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for ages 18 years and older.
- Vaccination providers must report adverse reactions to any vaccine through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at vaers.hhs.gov.
- Report all doses administered to ImmTrac2 daily. Please note: Race and ethnicity are mandatory to report.
- Providers may order Pfizer vaccine through the Vaccine Allocation and Ordering System (VAOS) and can now order smaller amounts of vaccine, in multiples of a single vial (six doses).
For additional COVID-19 vaccination information, please see the following resources:
- Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
- Superior HealthPlan
- Coronavirus Updates webpage