Effective immediately, all individuals 12 years old and older are eligible for vaccination in Kern County, Kern Public Health announced Thursday morning.
Beginning Thursday morning, Kern County Public Health Services informed all local providers administering the Pfizer vaccine that they may proceed in vaccinating this new age group. Parents and legal guardians can schedule appointments for those 12 and older to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine using the statewide booking system www.MyTurn.ca.gov starting today.
“Vaccination is the safest and most effective way to build immunity against COVID-19,” says Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health. “Ending this pandemic requires using all of the tools we have available, including practicing healthy habits, masking, distancing, and, most importantly, getting vaccinated. Get vaccinated for yourself, your family and our community.”
This expanded eligibility comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine safety review panel and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommended yesterday that the vaccine is safe and effective in protecting this age group against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
On May 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the Pfizer vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization to allow administration for 12- to 15-year-olds following clinical trials that proved it safe for this age group with only non-serious side effects like fatigue and headache.
Those interested in becoming vaccinated can do so at the Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Clinic, which offers the Pfizer vaccine. Patients can do walk in appointments or drive-thru appointments.
The clinic operates Wednesday thru Sunday, 9:30am to 4pm. Appointments can be made at www.MyTurn.ca.gov but are not required. Other vaccinating providers are available throughout the community and can be found on MyTurn.ca.gov or on the Vaccinating Providers Map at https://phweb.kerncounty.com/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=COVID19Vaccination#.
In an effort to address our residents’ ongoing questions related to the vaccines, Public Health has launched a COVID-19 vaccine nurse hotline that is available from 7AM to 7PM, seven days a week.