News 11's Arlette Yousif has more on the CDC and WSSSR decision
IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Imperial County kids ages 12 to 15 can now roll up their sleeves for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Imperial County Public Health Department sent out a press release early Thursday morning with the news.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup or WSSSR are both onboard after reviewing the Pfizer vaccine studies in this younger age group.
Local medical professionals are already vaccinating children ages 12 to 15.
Children in the Imperial Valley started receiving the Pfizer vaccine today. We also spoke to Imperial County health officials to get their reaction on the CDC mask announcement.
As the word spread, some families were already lined up outside medical offices before they were open for business.
"Today, we started at 8 o'clock this morning. We vaccinated the teenagers already from 12 up to 15 for Pfizer and of course, 18 and above they have the choice of Moderna or Pfizer or Johnson and I'm very confident that this will help us get back to normalcy in the summer," says Vo Medical Center Dr. Tien Vo.
Normalcy could come as soon as this summer.
Dr. Vo says the studies show that COVID-19 antibodies are expected to last longer in the body within this age group because they already have a stronger immune system than adults. Some families are eager to get their youngsters vaccinated.
"They are waiting early in the morning, ready to get the vaccines for the kids," explains Dr. Vo.
Parents in the Valley are not the only ones excited about vaccinating their kids.
"This is definitely good news for our community and our nation as a whole. We highly encourage parents to take advantage of this opportunity to vaccinate their children," says Imperial County Public Health Department Officer Maria Peinado.
While the health department says the full mask mandate is still in place at the moment, that could change in the near future after the new CDC announcement.
"Of course indoor or outdoor we can still— we don’t have to wear masks anymore and that’s what we want to see," says Dr. Vo.
Dr. Vo says he will have a Pfizer vaccine clinic on Saturday at Southwest High School for this younger age group to avoid scheduling issues during standard school hours.