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Los Angeles Prepares To Vaccinate 12-15 Year Olds As FDA Approval Nears – Deadline

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorize use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in kids 12 to 15 years old as soon as next week, according to federal officials via the New York Times. Local officials in Los Angeles said Monday that they are getting ready to act once approval is issued.

“We are working with people across the county so that as soon as we can use that vaccine — the Pfizer vaccine — on 12-15 year olds, we’re ready,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer

“The FDA could approve that any day now,” she continued. “We’re making plans…We’re working with our staff to make sure they’re ready to administer vaccines. We’re working with the state on consent forms. We already have the draft of the consent forms. So we’re ready.

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In April, as more L.A. County schools reopened, there has been a slight rise in youth hospitalizations from a recent low point. “Protecting children from infection and complications,” said Ferrer, “remains a high priority. She identified that as “One reason we’re expanding our sites at the schools so that we’re ready.”

According to L.A. County figures, here are a total 56 schools serving as vaccination sites where teens and their families can go and get vaccinated. Being able to vaccinate students, their families and community residents all together at schools is a very important strategy for reaching teens, said Ferrer. Local officials are also working with medical providers.

To prepare for increased eligibility in teens, public health officials are urging providers “to consider expanding the range of vaccines they are delivering to include Pfizer.” That adjustment would not only mean greater availability to this age group, but less waste because “the county is able to break up dose allocations of Pfizer into smaller numbers to help support any vaccine provider that is able to make this vaccine available to patients without the concern for waste.”

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