SC health department waiting for word to allow vaccination of adolescents

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 11:56 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Tuesday is will wait for an official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control before opening up vaccinations to children 12 years old and over.

The statement came a day after the Food and Drug Administration expanded its emergency use authorization to allow the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to children as young as 12 years old.

“South Carolina, like other states, is awaiting the official recommendation from the CDC before notifying our state’s providers that they may begin administering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older,” the statement from DHEC read in part.

The agency also said the Vaccine Administration Management System was working to add a parental consent component into the system.

DHEC said consent is required by a parent or legal guardian before children between the ages of 12 to 15 can receive the Pfizer vaccine. In South Carolina, children 16 and older do not need parental consent from an authorized vaccine provider.

The FDA said the vaccine is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens based on the testing of 2,000 U.S. volunteers between the ages of 12 and 15.

The trial revealed no cases of COVID-19 among fully-vaccinated adolescents compared with 16 among children in the trial who received the placebo.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.