The state's Division of Public Health (DPH) has opened four new standalone COVID-19 vaccination clinics that can begin serving Delawareans as young as 12 years old immediately.
The sites in all three counties, listed at the bottom of the article, officially opened Tuesday, May 11, 2021, and can serve any Delawarean, eligible to be vaccinated, with or without an appointment.
Monday, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to 12 to 15 year olds, and the state wasted no time in getting the shots into arms.
"This authorization for providers to utilize the Pfizer vaccine for this new age group is effective immediately," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the DPH, at Tuesday's coronavirus news conference. "They can go ahead and start serving our youth ages 12 and up as soon as possible....it's just really exciting to get to protect this age group as we have been able to do with some of the older folks."
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are still only authorized for use in people ages 18 and older.
To support the extended use, the FDA reviewed data submitted by Pfizer. The company said at the end of March that a clinical trial involving 2,260 12-to-15-year-olds showed the vaccine's efficacy is 100%, and it is well-tolerated, CNN reported.
The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer'…
Dr. Rattay called the results of the clinical trials in youth "astonishing."
"In the group that received the vaccine, not a single one got infected with COVID-19; the side effects are really well-tolerated just like with other age groups," she said.
The side effects often include soreness at the injection site, a headache, or maybe a fever. These side effects are also often reported with the second dose of vaccine in the two-dose series.
Gibney echoed the importance of the effectiveness of the vaccine.
"In children in this age group which was 12 through 15, the vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID," she said. "Now, we have limited data to address whether the vaccine is going to prevent transmission from person-to-person...but we think that there's also going to be a protective effect in that regard for the vaccine."
Dr. Rattay called this next phase of vaccinations pivotal.
"This is another really important step for us getting back to kind of our normal behaviors, like a normal school schedule in the fall as more students are vaccinated," she said.
Gibney told WDEL's Rick Jensen Show that Moderna is in the race as well.
"They do have a dosage for children younger than 12, and they also are looking at data for this age group as well," she said. "Moderna [is] 96% effective, they're lagging a little bit in Pfizer, but not that far as far as asking for emergency use authorization, so I think eventually, they're going to be in the mix," said Gibney.
She added Pfizer is also testing a vaccine for children in ages 2 to 11.
"They're going to start with them with smaller doses like 10 micrograms instead of the standard dose of 30, and then see, because the goal is to get the right vaccine dose when they get that small because at that age we want to keep the side effects at a minimum, but also protect them," said Gibney.
The new standalone vaccination clinics will accept walk-ins Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. or you can schedule an appointment.
Here are the locations:
1946 Maryland Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19805
256 Chapman Road, Suite 100
Newark, DE 19702
Blue Hen Corporate Center
655 S. Bay Road, Suite 1A
Dover, DE 19901
19 Georgetown Plaza
Georgetown, DE 19947
Delawareans who want to get the COVID-19 vaccine can do so at five new walk-in centers.
These sites are in addition to walk-in vaccinations available at select state service centers in all three counties that will also offer the Pfizer vaccine. Additionally, the state's Curative sites on Delaware Tech campuses in all three counties will also offer the Pfizer vaccine and are revamping their appointment systems to begin accepting appointments for youth as early as Wednesday.
For a full list of Division of Public Health clinic sites, as well as other vaccination opportunities, visit de.gov/getmyvaccine.