Oregon heath officials are preparing to vaccinate youth aged 12 to 15 following approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed its review of the federal process Wednesday night and has unanimously concluded that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for youth aged 12 to 15. The Workgroup has provided its confirmation to the Governors of Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada.
The Oregon Health Authority has informed health care providers that vaccinations for 12- to 15-year olds can begin in Oregon on Thursday, May 13.
On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of the vaccine in 12- to 15-year olds, and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices affirmed that decision on Wednesday. The Workgroup reviewed and affirmed the federal decisions Wednesday evening.
Washington, Oregon, and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October. The workgroup, made up of nationally-acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines. It will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process.
Gov.Kate Brown said the announcement is "great news for Oregon children, parents, and families."
"Vaccination is the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones," Brown said. "With today’s review by leading doctors, pediatricians, and health experts, young Oregonians and parents can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for youth."
Brown said it is completely normal for parents and children to have questions about vaccines.
"I urge you to reach out to your family doctor or pharmacist and get your questions answered today," she said.
Columbia County expanded its mass vaccinations on Friday, April 23, at the OHSU Scappoose Clinic, at 51377 Southwest Old Portland Road Crossroads Plaza, Unit C, in Scappoose. To reach the clinic, call 503-494-5455.