Here’s Where Kids Aged 12 To 15 Can Get COVID-19 Vaccines In Northeast Ohio
Updated: 5:05 p.m., Thursday, May 13, 2021
Now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children ages 12 to 15, Northeast Ohio hospitals, pharmacies and schools are vaccinating this new group.
Adolescents became eligible when an advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released additional guidance for vaccinating the younger age group Wednesday.
Parents can already begin signing up their younger teens for the COVID-19 vaccine at Cleveland-area providers.
Appointments for this age group opened May 13 at 220 CVS Pharmacy locations across Ohio, according to a news release. Walk-ins are also accepted, and parent or guardian consent is required. In addition, children must be accompanied by an adult, the release states.
Due to a current state law, children aged 12 must have a prescription to be vaccinated at a pharmacy, according to state officials.
MetroHealth began taking appointments for children over the age of 12 Thursday afternoon.
Parents can schedule a time for their children online, or call 216-778-6100, officials said.
Pre-registration is preferred, but some walk-ins are available, officials said. Children must be accompanied by a parent.
Kids aged 12 to 15 can also receive the Pfizer shot at the Wolstein mass vaccination site starting May 18, according to state health officials.
Parents must accompany their child to the vaccine clinic and bring a consent form.
The clinic will close in early June, so second doses of the vaccine will be scheduled at an area Discount Drug Mart, according to a news release.
University Hospitals is now taking appointments for Saturday, May 15, Wednesday, May 19, and Saturday, May 22 at its vaccination site, the UH Management Services Center in Shaker Heights, according to officials. Teens aged 12 to 17 must bring a consent form signed by a parent or guardian. Appointments can be made by calling 216-400-0429, UH officials said.
Cleveland Clinic will begin vaccinating this age group once the state's health department officially expands eligibility requirements, and parents can schedule their child’s appointment through MyChart or by calling 216.448.4117 later this week, officials said.
Akron Children's Hospital is also setting up appointments at its community vaccination clinics for this new group of teens.
Some schools throughout the region have already been administering shots to students 16 and up, who have been eligible since Pfizer was first authorized in December, and will incorporate the younger students into the current clinics, said Dr. Mike Bigham, chief quality officer at Akron Children’s Hospital.
The hospital’s division of school health has coordinated vaccine clinics in at least 20 schools throughout several Northeast Ohio counties, including Akron Public Schools and suburban districts such as Stow, Woodridge and Tallmadge, he said.
“We’ll be able to immediately expand our capacity in our existing clinics to now accept those 14 or 15-year-olds, or any of the high schoolers who are now eligible,” Bigham said.
Staff members will give out first doses to the younger students while administering second doses to the older students, he said.
“Anybody who wants the vaccine and whose parent has given consent [will] come into the gymnasium and get their vaccine that day,” Bigham said.
The school clinics will offer vaccines to the younger age group once the CDC committee and Ohio Department of Health provide more guidance, according to hospital officials.
Some Cuyahoga County school districts have opted to instead partner with local pharmacies to offer the vaccine.
Jennifer Dodd, director of operations at the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, said it has worked better to schedule a clinic at a pharmacy like Giant Eagle that serves several school jurisdictions, rather than plan clinics on-site during the school day.
“We’re going to start with in-stores,” Dodd said. “We may look a couple of in-district clinics if the numbers warrant it.”
The pharmacy clinics would be for students only, but could open up to families and others who were interested if enough vaccines were available, she added.
“Those are just going to get set up with the priority of students first,” Dodd said. “But, that doesn't mean families and students aren't allowed to find their own clinic through a local board of health or any pharmacy."
Depending on demand, future vaccine clinics may be held for kids aged 12 to 15 at the Educational Service Center’s offices in Independence, or even at individual schools over the summer, Dodd added.
As part of the expanded emergency use authorization, the FDA found the Pfizer vaccine to be safe and 100 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in adolescents.