COVID vaccinations for kids ages 12-15 start in Ohio: What you need to know

Children ages 12-15 can now receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in Ohio after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the vaccine for adolescents Wednesday.

Earlier this week the Food and Drug Administration also gave emergency use authorization for the age group.

Gov. Mike DeWine said the news was “promising” and will help more Ohioans return to their normal lives.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is incredibly powerful, and by protecting more individuals, we make everyone safer,” he said. “We have worked proactively with the American Academy of Pediatrics – Ohio Chapter, children’s hospitals and other providers to make sure they would be prepared to begin offering this vaccine to Ohio’s youth. I appreciate all they have done to prepare for this next phase.”

Pfizer is the only vaccine in the U.S. that is authorized for ages 12-17. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available for ages 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose shot. An appointment for the second dose should be scheduled at the first vaccine appointment.

Anyone younger than 18 who is not emancipated must have parental consent to be vaccinated. The child’s parent or guardian should come with them to the vaccine appointment, unless the vaccination is at a physician’s office, school or school-associated clinic.

Children ages 12-17 can be vaccinated at the hundreds of vaccination locations throughout Ohio. Parents and guardians should note that under Ohio law, 12-year-olds must have a prescription to be vaccinated at a pharmacy. A bill has been introduced that would all children ages 7-12 to receive a COVID or flu vaccine at a pharmacy without a prescription.

To schedule a COVID vaccine appointment, visit

The Ohio Department of Health released a list of frequently asked questions about COVID vaccines in adolescents, addressing concerns about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, possible impacts on fertility, side effects and more.

During the Pfizer vaccine clinical trial, more than 1,100 youth between the ages of 12-15 received the vaccine and about 1,100 received a placebo. There were zero cases of coronavirus in the vaccination group and 16 cases of coronavirus in the placebo group, according to the FDA.

Common side effects of the vaccine include soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site; fever and chills; headache; fatigue; and muscle or joint pain, according to the state health department. Side effects typically last a few day and may increase with the second dose.

To view ODH’s complete list of frequently asked questions and responses, read below:

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