As many teens and tweens return to a doctor’s office for an annual physical or sports physical to prepare for the new school year, it might be time to get vaccinated. In Michigan, students in grades K-12 must receive recommended vaccines to attend school. These types of immunizations are important to protect against harmful and highly contagious diseases, including measles and whooping cough. The CDC also recommends routine HPV vaccination between the ages 11 to 12 years, but they can start as early as 9 years old. At the same time teens and tweens are receiving their routine shots, they may also be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same time as other shots. Children are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine beginning at age 12. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine brand with emergency use authorization for children between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to be fully effective. COVID-19 vaccines are not required by public schools in Michigan – but they are strongly encouraged for those who are eligible, to slow the spread of the virus and protect the vulnerable from severe illness. Due to the emerging circulation of the more contagious virus variants – including Delta – health officials are urging people to get vaccinated and take precautions, including wearing a face mask if COVID-19 is spreading at higher rates where you live. Primary care providers like pediatricians or family doctors can help answer questions you may have about whether the COVID vaccine is right for your child, including going over their chronic conditions and any allergies they may have. You can also get routine vaccinations and the COVID-19 vaccine for your child at retail pharmacies – locations which may offer expanded hours and faster access. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines, visit bcbsm.com. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- 7 Pandemic Habits to Continue
- Why There are Still COVID-19 Hot Spots Across the U.S.
- The Crucial Impact of COVID Vaccines
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