San Juan Basin Public Health will provide COVID-19 vaccine appointments for 12- to 15-year-olds in Archuleta and La Plata counties starting Thursday.
Federal and state authorities are expected to give final approval Wednesday to begin administering the vaccine to that age range.
Youths 12 to 15 are eligible only for the Pfizer vaccine. Residents should verify the Pfizer vaccine is being offered when signing up minors for COVID-19 vaccine appointments or walking into a clinic.
“The eligibility of 12- to 15-year-olds for COVID vaccine is a really positive step for our community. We hope that parents and youths will jump on this opportunity right away,” said Liane Jollon, SJBPH executive director, in a news release issued Tuesday. “Getting our youths vaccinated will help ensure in-person learning is here to stay and will protect them in their extracurriculars, sports, summer camps and day-to-day lives.”
Ensuring the safety of students outside of school has been a challenge throughout the pandemic, according to SJBPH. The expanded vaccine eligibility for youths will help keep young people and their families stay safe and limit community spread of the virus, the release said.
Upcoming community vaccination clinics in La Plata and Archuleta counties offering Pfizer vaccine include:
- 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango, 2500 Main Ave.
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Pagosa Springs Community Center in Pagosa Springs, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Lewis College Student Life Center in Durango, 1000 Rim Drive.
Although advance registration is strongly encouraged, walk-ins are also welcome, supply permitting. The vaccine is free, and no identification is required. SJBPH urges families to make appointments as soon as possible, as it can take five or more weeks from the date of the first dose of Pfizer to reach full immunity.