NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health Medical Advisory Team has approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 and older. The decision comes after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine for administration to 12-15-year-olds — and parents are quickly getting their kids in for an appointment.
Just in the past day, another 1,500 children aged 12-15 are registered through the NMDOH for their vaccine, but they’re still a long way away from reaching all 115,000 New Mexico kids in that age group.
The CDC is now recommending the use of the Pfizer vaccine for kids as young as 12. As of today, more than 15,000 in that age group of 12-15 are registered for the vaccine through the NMDOH.
“Vaccine has not only been approved for 12- to 15-year-olds in New Mexico, shots are already going into arms as we speak,” said David Morgan, with the New Mexico Department of Health. “Being able to watch that number rise by the day has been a sign of good news.”
Earlier Thursday, the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, gave an update on the newest eligibility group. He says the vaccine is still a good way to prevent kids from passing COVID onto more vulnerable family members.
“It’s very important for children to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Fauci. “I’m not so sure we should be requiring children at all. We should be encouraging them.”
Some vaccine providers like CVS are already taking appointments but when we went online to book one, the metro was completely full, with some appointments still available in Las Cruces, Española, and Roswell. However, some locally-owned pharmacies like Vida Pharmacy say they’re ready to put shots in arms and even take mobile units where they’re needed, like schools.
“We can go to the schools and work with the administrations on the correct consent forms and parent approval and parent accompaniments,” said Adam Roberts, co-owner of Vida Pharmacy. “We’re going to follow all the guidelines and have all the safety material and answer any questions they have for the kids.”
The Department of Health says the Pfizer dosage for the 12-15 age group is the same as those 16 and up. This new eligibility comes as New Mexico has fully vaccinated 50-percent of eligible residents as of Thursday.
Parents can register their children on the state’s vaccine website. Earlier this week, New Mexico celebrated two milestones when it comes to the state’s fight against COVID-19. As of Thursday, 69-percent of New Mexicans have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Forty-nine percent of New Mexicans are also now fully vaccinated.