According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), there are nearly 300,000 12- to 15-year-olds in Colorado. Eleven percent of children in that age group have already been vaccinated.
“We have to keep up the pace over the next few weeks,” Gov. Polis said.
According to the state, schools and childcare make up the highest proportion of newly reported outbreaks.
“We do continue to see that highest rate of disease among middle school and high school students,” said Rachel Herlihy, a state epidemiologist. “We need to see increased vaccination rate among those individuals to protect them from infection.”
According to CDPHE, Pfizer’s vaccine trial for 12- to 15-year-olds included 2,260 children. There were 18 cases of COVID-19 reported in the placebo group, which was unvaccinated. There were no COVID cases in the vaccinated group.
Additionally, CDPHE said there were no severe side effects clearly associated with the vaccine in children. Trial participants experienced symptoms similar to other age groups, including temporary arm soreness, fatigue, headache, chills and muscle aches.
Even if parents are vaccinated, state health officials say they still need to be careful.
“It’s important that parents continue to take precautions for those younger children to protect them from infection,” Herlihy said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has also announced that it’s safe for children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other routine immunizations.
Many health care providers are requiring parents to be present when children are vaccinated.
The state health department has a vaccine hotline that’s open 24/7. Call 1-877-268-2926 for more information. You can also call 2-1-1 or text “vaccine” to 667873 to get contact information for your preferred health care provider to sign up for a vaccine.
El Paso County Public Health also has a list of upcoming vaccine clinics and a map showing all the different locations administering vaccines in the county at www.elpasocountyhealth.org/how-will-i-get-the-vaccine.