Louisiana kids can start vaccinations Thursday

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Nouf Albarakati, left, of Narberth Pa., comforts her son Manaf Albarakati, 14, before he receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from registered nurse Alicia Jimenez at a Montgomery County, Pa. Office of Public Health vaccination clinic at the King of Prussia Mall, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in King of Prussia, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (AP) — Children as young as 12 can expect to start getting Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Thursday in Louisiana.

The state health officer made the announcement Wednesday after federal advisers endorsed the vaccine for children aged 12 to 15. Dr. Joseph Kanter said that “we are very excited about the opportunity to protect additional age groups and their families with this highly safe and effective vaccine.”

Kanter says the health department expects to release its formal notice Thursday morning and any clinic or other outlet that has Pfizer vaccine can start giving it to kids 12 and up immediately after that.

More than 1,500 clinics, hospitals and pharmacies in Louisiana have the Pfizer vaccine. It is the only coronavirus vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people this young.

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