BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Update: Wednesday, a CDC advisory panel game the thumbs up to expand usage of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to kids ages 12 to 15.

“This is an age group that has been profoundly affected through education impact, social impacts, and the secondary impact of this group is just like anyone else in the population, you can transmit it to others,” said Dr. William Lennarz, Ochsner Health System Chair of Pediatrics

The vaccine is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is found to be 100% effective in children. Some 80 Louisiana kids took part in the vaccine trial. Side effects are similar to those seen in adults.

“The most common side effect in kids was the arm pain and swelling. There was reported fever and some chills, some fatigue and headache,” said Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, Medical Director, Infection Control and Prevention

Parental consent is required. Doctors said this is a major step forward in combating the pandemic.

“The benefit, even if you’re just talking about the individual teenager, far outweighs the risk of getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Lennarz.

Doctors said shots could go into arms as early as Thursday.


Members of Ochsner Health and Ochsner Hospital for Children are gathering for a Zoom call at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Ochsner is expected to speak about the “expansion of the Pfizer COVID vaccine to children 12-15 years old.”

These Ochsner representatives are expected to be at the news briefing: 

  • Dawn Pevey, CEO, System Centers of Excellence & Service Lines
  • Ochsner HealthDr. Katherine Baumgarten, Medical Director, Infection Control and Prevention
  • Ochsner HealthDr. William Lennarz, System Chair of Pediatrics
  • Ochsner HealthDr. Julia Garcia-Diaz, Director of Clinical Infectious Diseases Research and Infectious Disease Specialist

Ochsner Health will livestream the briefing in its entirety.