Vaccine guidance for parents of middle and high school students
May 18, 2021
Youth ages 12 to 18 may now receive COVID-19 vaccines, however, some parents have hesitated to vaccinate their kids because of schedule conflicts with the second dose of the vaccine. A rule of thumb is not to wait for timing to be perfect, as there is some flexibility.
For example, one dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers up to 80 percent efficacy after two weeks, and the second dose should be 21 days after the first dose. If that is not feasible, the second dose can be scheduled up to 42 days after the first. Efficacy data is limited beyond 42 days and not recommended.
Johnson & Johnson and Moderna can be given to anyone 18 or older. The former is given as a single shot, while the latter is roughly 80 percent effective two weeks after one dose. The second Moderna dose is recommended 28 days later but can be given up to 42 days later.
“Do your best to stick within the first and second dose time frame recommendations. However, don’t fret if you need to push that second dose out a week. Public health is offering regular clinics and will make it as easy as possible for you to get in and get what is needed,” said Theresa Carey, registered nurse with Garfield County Public Health. “We also want to remind parents that they can get their child’s other routine and school-required vaccines at the same time as their COVID vaccine. While you are getting one, make sure you are up to date on all of your important vaccines to keep your family as healthy as possible.”
Youth vaccine information
• 12- to 17-year-olds may receive the Pfizer vaccine.
• 18 and older may receive Johnson & Johnson or Moderna.
• Minors under 18 must have parental consent, but parents do not need to be present if consent is documented.
• All Garfield County Public Health clinics are available by either walk-up or appointment, and offer 1st or 2nd doses. (Please check which vaccine is being offered that day as it varies)
• Even if you have been infected with COVID-19, you can still get your vaccination if you are not currently ill.
• Vaccine clinics have been held at Garfield County High Schools in all three districts.
• Clinics are coming to Roaring Fork Schools (Glenwood, Riverview, Carbondale Basalt) and Garfield Re2 (Riverside, Rifle) middle schools. The school districts are sending home clinic information for parents.