With federal authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine extended to adolescents ages 12 to 15 Monday and an advisory committee expected to take up a recommendation for the age group Wednesday, about 300,000 more youth in Wisconsin may be able to get immunized as early as this week.
The age group, which includes an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people in Dane County, is mostly expected to get the injection at the same places adults do: community clinics such as the Alliant Energy Center, pharmacies and doctors’ offices. Some schools may offer shots or bus students to community sites, Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy director for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said last week.
In anticipation of the expanded demand for the vaccine, staff are being added to the drive-up vaccination clinic at the Alliant Center to accommodate 10 lanes of vehicles instead of the usual eight, Public Health Madison and Dane County said last week. The city-county health department requested about 1,700 first doses of vaccine, along with having more than 6,600 second does for people who have already had one shot.
Once the state health department clears the way for vaccinating ages 12 to 15 — which will likely come after the advisory committee meets Wednesday — families with children that age are encouraged to book an appointment at the Alliant Center. That can be done at go.madison.com/vaccine1215 or 608-242-6328.
“You will still have the ability to drop in, but there could be a very long wait and there are no guarantees we’ll still have enough vaccine available,” the city-county health department said in a blog post last week. “If you have an appointment, we set aside a vaccine specifically for you.”
People younger than 18 years old need a guardian with them to provide consent or have a guardian ready to answer their phone and provide verbal consent.
For other places to get the Pfizer vaccine, families of children ages 12 to 15 can contact their doctor’s office or local pharmacy, go to vaccinefinder.org or visit the city-county health department website at go.madison.com/options.
The other authorized COVID-19 vaccines, by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are not yet available for people younger than 18.