CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- By Thursday, young teenagers will join the ranks of those rolling up their sleeves to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Contra Costa County.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently authorized for people under the age of 18.
"We are seeing a slight uptick in cases, especially among the young," said Dr. Ori Tzvieli M.D., Deputy Health Officer for Contra Costa County. "So I think it's important for us to be able to get back to in-person learning in the fall, to get back into activities, to get back into sports."
While school districts are encouraging the vaccine, so far, it doesn't appear the state will require them for entry to school in the fall.
"However, as we roll out the vaccine and we see what the vaccination rates are, also to see how often we are having outbreaks related to the school setting," explained California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan M.D. (D-Sacramento) "There may be by, let's say winter, when bills are due again, consideration as to whether that something we need or not."
In Contra Costa County, most districts will be partnering with the county to set up clinics at school sites over the next few weeks.
In Alameda County, there's a clinic already set up across from Berkeley High School and Pleasanton Unified will also begin hosting vaccine sites for young people.
"We're looking forward to hosting a vaccine clinic for now ages between 12 and 15 year-olds in the next week," said Patrick Gannon, spokesman for Pleasanton Unified. "We're hoping to send that information out to families soon."
Starting Thursday in Contra Costa County, 12 to 15 year-olds can get the Pfizer vaccine at any of the county sites. Appointments aren't necessary, but certainly preferred.
Young people must also have a parent with them, or a signed consent form.
Those forms, and appointments for Contra Costa County will be available starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday at cchealth.org.
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