Vaccine appointments for ages 12 to 15 open up Thursday

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — Starting Thursday, young San Diegans ages 12 to 15 will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine appointments through the state’s booking system.

The eligibility expansion now means nearly 176,000 county youths in the age group can make vaccine appointment on the state’s MyTurn page. According to the California Department of Public Health, about 2.1 million Californians are in the next eligible age group.

All of San Diego County’s static vaccination clinics will have Pfizer vaccines on hand for drop-in appointments — as opposed to the mobile clinics, which primarily use Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Consent from a parent or guardian is required to get the vaccine.

“We’re looking forward to joining with schools, pediatricians and all of our medical partners in the region to vaccinate this new cohort of eligible people,” said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, the county’s public health officer, on Wednesday. “The reports from the Food and Drug Administration show the vaccine is extremely effective for young people of these ages, and adding them to our vaccinated roles will better improve public health and protect the vulnerable and those not eligible to be vaccinated.”

The county has received 3,699,585 doses of coronavirus vaccine and has administered 3,229,407 of them.

A total of 1,748,016 people have received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, 86.7% of the way toward reaching the county’s goal of vaccinating 75% of San Diego County residents 16 and older, or 2,017,011 people.

A total of 1,286,108 — or 63.8% of the county’s goal — in the 16-or- older age range are fully inoculated with either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Those percentages are likely to change significantly when the 12-15 age cohort is added to county data sometime this week.

“It’s great because like maybe by the end of this year we could have our masks off and not be like 6 feet apart,” said Danika Friedman, who made a Pfizer appointment, “and it’ll be great to be almost back to normal again.”

Though Friedman expressed some concern about feeling some side effects of the shot.

“I’m not scared if I get a sore arm but like if I get sick, yeah,” she said.

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