May 11, 2021 7:00 PM

Hammersmith: Talk to doc about vaccine for young teens

Posted May 11, 2021 7:00 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Karen Hammersmith with the Reno County Health Department says she has spoken to the local doctors that work with kids and parents who are considering vaccinating their 12-15 year olds with the Pfizer vaccine once it is cleared later this week should talk to their doctor.

"They definitely want anybody that wants the vaccine to get the vaccine especially if you have some high-risk factors," Hammersmith said. "You can also get it if you don't have high-risk factors, because the vaccine is improved. We know that what it prevents is serious complications, which we have seen in that younger generation. We just haven't seen as much of that."

It is the intent of the Health Department to get in some Pfizer vaccine, in light of the new developments.

"We plan to order the vaccine for next week," Hammersmith said. "Once a week, we put in an order to KDHE and then they get that from the federal government as to how much vaccine is available. We are going to order some Pfizer. It's got a little bit of an issue with the shelf life."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late February approved storage and transportation of the Pfizer vaccine at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks instead of ultra-cold conditions. Before that, it had required ultra-cold storage.

Young adults are also encouraged to get their shots.

"We still want to push that vaccine out to those specifically in the 20 to 49-year-old group, too, that we have a lot less people vaccinated," Hammersmith said. "You can come as a family. We can get the parents, we can get the kids 12 and up all vaccinated at the same time."

Until the county's shipment can get in, you can look at vaccinefinder.org to see who currently has the Pfizer shot.