LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 10: Syringes containing a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are viewed at a clinic targeting Central American Indigenous residents at CIELO, an Indigenous rights organization, on April 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. CIELO launched an outreach campaign for vaccinations to address language barriers, accessibility, mistrust of government and misinformation among Mexican and Guatemalan Indigenous residents. They have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic with many losing work in the hospitality industry. St. John's Well Child and Family Center is administering COVID-19 vaccines across South L.A. in a broad effort to bring vaccines to minority communities. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Covid Vaccine appointments for 12-15-year-olds are now available in the Charlotte area. Earlier this week the CDC approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 years old. Today, Thursday, many Charlotte area providers are beginning to administer the vaccines to those ages. Vaccines are available the same day at CVS, Walgreens, and Novant Health. Novant Appointments begin at 3 pm.

Just like most any other vaccine, adolescents will need parental consent to receive the vaccine in both North and South Carolina. All parents will be required to complete a consent form at the vaccination site. At most locations, parents must be on-site when the vaccine is given. Your child willl need to wait the required 15-30 minutes to make sure there are no adverse reactions.

Per an article by WCNC, Dr. Brannon Traxler, the director of public health in South Carolina, says the side effects in adults and children are similar. Those side effects, including a sore arm, fever, and body aches, are normal and expected. Other common side effects include fatigue and headaches. These side effects while inconvenient are a sign that the vaccine is working and priming your immune system.

If you have questions on the risks and benefits of the vaccine for your child it’s best to discuss with your family’s health care provider. While children are much less likely to contract and spread the virus there have been over 1 million confirmed cases in children over age 12. Your doctor will have info from the CDC and be able to address any concerns you may have.

What if your child is younger than 12? Studies are underway for younger children as well. The studies are testing the efficacy and side effects in children starting at age 6 months.

Doctors believe that before the end of the year, nearly all Americans will have a vaccine if they want to take it.

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Posted by Atrium Health on Thursday, May 13, 2021