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Anne Arundel ready to sign up 12- to 15-year-olds for COVID vaccinations after final OK from CDC

Anne Arundel County expects to begin signing up 12- to 15-year-olds for COVID-19 vaccinations within days, following emergency authorization for the Pfizer vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Prior to the emergency authorization, the vaccine was approved for people 16 and older.

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“The good news is that we have Pfizer vaccine on hand and have requested additional Pfizer so that we can, can now vaccinate these young people,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said Tuesday during a weekly media briefing on pandemic efforts.

Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, county health officer, said once the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices signs off on the authorization Wednesday, Maryland authorities should automatically follow through with permission to begin scheduling appointments.

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“We’re ready to handle 12- to 15-year-olds, we just need that formal approval from the CDC tomorrow,” he said.

Families with teens in the new age group will be able to walk up to any public clinic that has the Pfizer vaccine. Parents should bring their identification, just as they do when taking a minor to the doctor’s office for any vaccination.

“We need to know [who] the parent is, and they can register their child, and provide the consent,” Kalyanaraman said.

Anne Arundel County providers vaccinated an additional 1,383 people against COVID-19 from Monday to Tuesday, upping the percent of the population with at least one shot to 44.8%.

All providers are vaccinating everyone ages 16 and older. To get an appointment through the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, go to aacounty.org/covidvax on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and Thursdays at noon.

The mass vaccination site at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis is accepting appointments. A limited number of walk-ups will be accepted from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. People are encouraged to get an appointment to ensure a vaccine will be available. To schedule an appointment, go to onestop.md.gov/preregistration.

About 35.6% of Anne Arundel County residents are fully vaccinated, according to county data. There are 259,578 residents total who received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 206,112 are fully vaccinated.

Statewide, more than 2,395,628 people are fully vaccinated.

Anne Arundel County residents can call 410-222-0225 or 410-222-0047 to schedule a free ride to a vaccination appointment in the county or at the Navy stadium mass vaccination site. Operators will answer from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Residents can also use the Gold College Parkway bus route to reach the mass vaccination site for free. Residents age 55 and older or residents 18 and older with a disability can call 410-222-4222 to schedule a ride to a vaccine appointment. Rides are $5.

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