Olathe Health Reaches COVID-19 Vaccine Milestone, Expands Appointments to Adolescents 12 – 15 Years Old
On Tuesday, May 11, Olathe Health surpassed 50,000 COVID-19 immunizations administered across the health system. This includes both first and booster doses given to healthcare workers and patients, and at community outreach events. Achieving this milestone was the result of significant coordination and planning by many people in the health system and our community partners.
“Thank you to our entire pharmacy team; all the clinic providers and associates who have been working so diligently to manage vaccine appointments for our patients; and the team of associates providing vaccines for our community partners like local employers and underserved populations,” Stan Holm, President/CEO, said. “Throughout the pandemic, we have pulled together as an organization, with the support of our community, to keep people safe and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This is just one more example of our team of healthcare heroes making a difference.”
Olathe Health took another significant step this week in the fight against COVID-19 by expanding vaccine appointments to adolescents ages 12 – 15. This follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval on Monday of the expansion of emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 - 15 years of age, and the subsequent approvals of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
HOW TO SCHEDULE A COVID VACCINE FOR 12-15 YEAR OLDS
- Adolescents ages 12 – 15 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine at any Olathe Health family medicine or pediatric clinic.
- Make an appointment by:
- Calling a family medicine or pediatric clinic, or
- Going online to use our Patient Portal, if you are a current patient
ABOUT THE VACCINE
You can read the full Pfizer vaccine fact sheet for recipients and caregivers using this link. In addition, below are a few FAQs from the CDC:
How many adolescents get COVID-19?
From March 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, approximately 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in individuals 11 to 17 years of age have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children and adolescents generally have a milder COVID-19 disease course as compared to adults.
Is the administration of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine the same for adolescents as it is for adults?
Yes. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, the same dosage and dosing regimen for 16 years of age and older.
How do we know the vaccine works in kids?
In the vaccine clinical trial, there were no cases of COVID-19 in the 1,100 children who received the Pfizer vaccine and 16 cases in the 1,100 children in the placebo group, according to the FDA. The trial also found that vaccinated adolescents had high levels of antibodies in their blood — a signal they had developed strong protective immunity.
"The vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID-19," the FDA announced Monday. "At this time, data are not available to determine how long the vaccine will provide protection."
Why should kids this age get vaccinated?
Children and adolescents can get sick from infection with the coronavirus, and they can infect others. And while, in general, their cases tend to be less severe, some children have developed serious complications. In the United States alone, tens of thousands of kids have been hospitalized with COVID-19 — including more than 3,000 who have developed a rare but dangerous inflammatory syndrome nicknamed MIS-C. During the pandemic, COVID-19 has been one of the leading causes of death among children, Sean O'Leary, MD, of the American Academy of Pediatrics tells NPR — some 300 to 600 children have died. There are also increasing concerns about persistent, long-term effects of the viral infection — such as fatigue, respiratory issues and stomach problems — for some children who get COVID-19.
And while most children who catch the coronavirus develop few or no symptoms, they can still, inadvertently, transmit the virus to others. “Vaccinating young teens could be a big game changer," O'Leary notes, "because we've known all along that adolescents tend to be both more likely to get infected and to spread the infection, relative to the younger kids. So getting that population vaccinated is also going to make a difference in these dynamics."
Are there side effects for adolescents from the vaccine?
According to the CDC, the most commonly reported side effects in the adolescent clinical trial participants, which typically lasted 1-3 days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain. It is important for vaccination providers and recipients to expect that there may be some side effects after either dose, but even more so after the second dose. The side effects in adolescents were consistent with those reported in clinical trial participants 16 years of age and older.
Who should not get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine? The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine should not be given to anyone with a known history of a severe allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis—to any component of the vaccine. See the vaccine ingredients here.