MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Following the FDA’s expansion of emergency use authorization for adolescents, the Monongalia County Health Department is encouraging parents and guardians of children, ages 12-to-15-years-old, to schedule an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine.
Appointments can be made at Vaccine.WVUMedicine.org or by calling 833-795-SHOT
(833-795-7468) to get the two-dose Pfizer inoculation as early as Friday, May 14. Vaccines
are provided through the Greater Monongalia County COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the old
Sears building in Morgantown Mall.
“This is a great way to protect this age group from COVID-19,” said Dr. Lee B. Smith,
MCHD executive director and county health officer. “We know that sometimes, these
‘tweens and young teens are asymptomatic carriers of the virus, so getting them vaccinated is
extremely important to keep them from spreading the virus around the community. They also have been known to have symptoms and suffer serious effects, as well if they contract COVID. We are currently seeing increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in school-age kids.”
Opening up another age group for vaccine eligibility also moves Monongalia County, as well
as the country, closer to being able to reach herd immunity of at least 70%.
“That’s the estimation of what proportion of the population needs to be inoculated against
COVID-19 to be able to halt the progression of the virus,” Dr. Smith said. “Having the ability
to vaccinate another age group will help us reach that goal.”
According to a press release issued by the FDA, “Parents and guardians can rest assured that
the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with
all of our COVID-19 emergency use authorizations,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA
Information comes from tests conducted on 2,260 adolescents, with 1,131 receiving the
vaccine and 1,129 receiving a saline placebo, according to the FDA.
More than half of the participants were followed for at least two months following the second
dose. The most common side effects were similar to those of older individuals: pain at the
injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain. Also, some
participants experienced no side effects.
“The protection that is gained by this vaccine is well worth these minor side effects,” Dr.
Smith said. “This is especially true as COVID-19 variants are circulating and increasing in
As with any other vaccine recipient, the 12-to-15-year-olds must not get the COVID-19
vaccine two weeks before or after getting any other vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine, which is the
only one approved for individuals 17 and younger, is a two-dose inoculation administered
about three weeks apart.
Pfizer was originally granted EUA for individuals 16 and older on Dec. 11, 2020. The state of
West Virginia extended vaccine eligibility to the general public when Gov. Jim Justice
ordered the vaccination of individuals 80 and older on Dec. 30. The age was consistently
lowered and for the past month, anyone 16 and older has easily been able to get a vaccine
More information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the FDA’s EUA can be found at
cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/. More information on the Greater Monongalia
County COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic can be found at monchd.org/testing–vaccines.html.