What parents need to know about the push to get more teens vaccinated

Virus Outbreak Vaccine Teens
Posted at 3:13 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 20:59:40-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for young adults ages 16 and 17, but the age is expected to be lowered to include 12- to 15-year-olds within the next few days if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes the move, according to the Associated Press.

Some medical experts say getting more younger people vaccinated is the next step to keeping everyone safe.

“I think some of what will make the path to herd immunity easier will be the opening up vaccination to children,” said Dr. Danny Avula, the Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator.

“As we look to go back to school - not virtually, but in person - it's going to be more important to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Ryan Light with the Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group. “I think that when we look at some of the newer variants that are out, we see them spreading a lot faster in the youth population, so the vaccinations is going to shut that down.”

Now, there is an opportunity to get your 16- or 17-year-old vaccinated in Norfolk.

Read more: 16-, 17-year-olds need parental consent for COVID-19 shot

“As the FEMA-supported Military Circle Mall Community Vaccination Center transitions to the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, beginning May 5 through May 22 in partnership with Virginia Department of Health and the Norfolk Health District, young adults ages 16-17 may continue to receive a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine through May 22,” according to information sent out by FEMA.

Click here to make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but those interested, can book an appointment ahead of time.

Vaccine Availability at Military Circle Mall (9 a.m. - 7 p.m., daily)

  • Single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (over the age of 18)
  • May 5 through May 22

First Doses of Pfizer (16-17 years old only)
Individuals who are 16 or 17 will need to have a parent or guardian with them at the vaccination site to receive the vaccine.

  • Now through May 22
  • Second doses of Pfizer

The FEMA site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone interested in getting their vaccine must bring a valid ID or any document that provides proof of name.

For information on all available clinics, click here or call 1-877-829-4682.

For more on the ongoing vaccination efforts in Virginia, visit FEMA's website or the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Click here for our full COVID vaccination guide.