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First District Health offering COVID Vaccine to everyone 12 and Older

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FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 file photo, frozen vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are taken out to thaw, at the MontLegia CHC hospital in Liege, Belgium. The European Commission has secured an agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech for an extra 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to tackle a surge of coronavirus clusters that have prompted border restrictions. The doses are expected to be delivered before the end of March. The EU’s executive arm is worried by the worsening situation in several areas, mainly due to the spread of new variants. It also does not want virus clusters to prompt more border restrictions. The EU has cited Tyrol in Austria, Nice and Moselle in France, Bolzano in Italy and some parts of Bavaria and Saxony in Germany as places where COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

With the recent announcement from the The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting the Pfizer vaccine emergency use authorization for 12 to 15-year-olds, First District Health Unit is now has COVID-19 vaccine available for everyone 12 and older by appointment. 

A link to the online appointment scheduler and phone numbers for all First District locations can be found on the website at www.fdhu.org.

The vaccine was already authorized for use in people 16 and older.  When scheduling appointments for COVID vaccination, parents should ensure that the vaccine to be given is Pfizer, which is the only brand authorized for anyone under 18 years of age.  Two doses of the vaccine are required, at least 21 days apart.  Like adults, teens and adolescents are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose.

Most children with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, but some children can get severely ill from COVID-19. North Dakota has reported 20 hospitalizations in adolescents ages 12-17, with an increase in cases in recent months.  Vaccinating this age group not only protects the vaccinated child, but their peers, families, and vulnerable adults.

Trials showed the vaccine was 100% effective in this age group and presented no serious safety concerns in adolescents.

According to current CDC recommendations, fully vaccinated people who are exposed to a positive case no longer need to quarantine if they are symptom-free.  Students who are vaccinated will be able to continue to participate in summer activities, even if they are exposed to an active case of COVID-19.

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