Bay Area pediatricians get ready to administer Pfizer's COVID vaccine in-office

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ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Bay Area pediatricians get ready to administer Pfizer vaccine
Bay Area pediatricians are gearing up to administer vaccines to children 12-years-old and up, after California's Department of Public Health officially gave the green light.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After FDA authorization Monday, the CDC recommended Pfizer's COVID vaccine for use in 12 to 15 year olds, which is expected to begin Thursday in California.

On Wednesday night, the Western States Scientific Advisory group met to discuss Pfizer's data and concluded the vaccine is safe and effective for 12 to 15 year-olds. California's Department of Public Health then officially recommended the vaccine for everyone 12 and older in the state.

RELATED: Health officials explain what to expect for vaccinating 12-15 year-olds

The Pfizer vaccine will be offered to 12-15 year olds at many major vaccine sites, vaccine clinics set up by some school districts, and pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. Bay Area pediatricians are also gearing up to vaccinate patients at the doctor's office.

"This is our vaccine freezer and vaccine refrigerator. Our temperature control is very accurate," said pediatrician Dr. Lisa Dana.

Dr. Dana says their Mill Valley and San Francisco offices are ready for Pfizer's COVID vaccine. "When we get it, I promise we will be here in evenings and weekends."

VIDEO: Many Bay Area 12-15 year-olds eager for Pfizer's COVID vaccine

On Monday, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID vaccine to include the youngest age group yet - 12 to 15 year-olds. Many teens, say they are ready.

As chief medical officer of Golden Gate Pediatrics, Dr. Dana has been in close communication with California's Department of Public Health about receiving and administering Pfizer's vaccine. She doesn't know exactly when they will receive the Pfizer vaccine, but they expect it will be soon.

"If anyone's equipped to give vaccines to kids, it's pediatricians. We have the staff who are really experienced at giving vaccines, and we have the storage, we have the freezers, we have the refrigerators, we have the protocols all setup to give vaccines which we do on a daily basis."

Also good news for pediatricians, the CDC is updating guidance to allow the COVID vaccine to be administered simultaneously with other childhood vaccines, rather than waiting two weeks.

RELATED: East Bay readies vaccine rollout for 12 to 15 year-olds with help from school districts

"Whenever there's a change we have to convince the parents that this change is safe," explained Dr. Dana, who said that a lot of education is involved with changing vaccine protocols. Bottom line, she recommends families get their kids vaccinated as soon as possible. "We would not give your child a vaccine that's not safe."

15-year-old Sophie say she's ready for her COVID shot. "I'm pretty excited to get vaccinated."

The de Zafra Family showed up to Safeway in Mill Valley, hoping to get Sophie and her 12-year-old brother vaccinated, but the store wasn't able to accommodate them just yet...

"We'll have to wait 'till tomorrow," said their mom, Christina de Zafra.

RELATED: California nears expanding COVID-19 shot to children 12-15

While they were all willing to get the shot at a grocery store, Christina said the doctor's office would be ideal. "I think it would be great to have the kids be able to go to pediatrician's offices because it's a comfortable, familiar environment."

6-year-old Kyla agrees, if a COVID vaccine is eventually authorized for her age group.

Her dad, Carter Zinn, asked her, "would you rather go to your doctor's office or wait in a big long line with a bunch of cars?"

Kyla enthusiastically said, "Go to my doctor's office!"

Dr. Dana recommends the Pfizer vaccine for everyone who's eligible, but says kids with severe allergies with anaphylaxis should consult their doctor before getting vaccinated.

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