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Governor Urges People to Get Vaccinated as CDC Recommends Pfizer Vaccine for Kids as Young as 12

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Now is the time to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already done so, according to Governor Tony Evers.

In a COVID update with the Department of Health Services on Wednesday, the Governor urged people to get vaccinated.

“Summer is right around the corner and getting vaccinated will also us to get back to all the gatherings and events we miss,” said Evers.

More than two million Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated.

DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said we’re no longer seeing the urgency of getting a vaccine like we did earlier this year.

Majority of the age groups not yet vaccinated tend to be younger.

Willems Van Dijk said that makes sense since those tend be the age groups less at risk of dying from COVID.

“What I’d say to people is the vaccines are safe. The side effects are mild. If you take that vaccine, you’re not only protecting yourself. You’re protecting others in the community, other loved ones, other people who can’t get the vaccine because of medical contraindications. And you contribute to guarding against the mutation of this virus so that we won’t end up a COVID-19 variant that is even more lethal,” said Willems Van Dijk.

The vaccine is becoming eligible to even more people this week. The CDC is setting guidelines for how 12 to 15-year-olds can get the Pfizer vaccine.

About 20 minutes before the CDC decision Wednesday, Willems Van Dijk said the state was ready for the rollout to the new age group.

“If the guidelines are as simple as an expansion of the age range, then we will update the standing order tonight and vaccinations can begin tomorrow. If the guidelines contain additional clinically considerations that are unique to this new age group, we’ll be ready to move forward as soon as they are released in the MMWR or Morbidity and Mortality weekly report which will come out later this week,” she said.

More than 98,000 kids and teens under the age of 20 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

About a thousand of them have been hospitalized. Three have died.

“Trials show that the Pfizer vaccine is 100% effective in preventing infection in children age 12-15. That is very, very good news,” said Willems Van Dijk.

It is only the Pfizer vaccine that is available to this age group.

The Modern and Johnson and Johnson are only approved for those 18 and older.

Willems Van Dijk recommends using the vaccine finder tool to search specifically for the Pfizer vaccine for this age group.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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