TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final green light for the emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine among kids ages 12 through 15 on Wednesday.
A Tampa Bay area 13-year-old signed up for the shot less than 24 hours after the CDC announced age expansion.
“It’s the best thing that can happen for me and since I’m very high risk, taking this vaccine will help me a lot,” Gareth Everett explained.
The teen has cystic fibrosis. He’s among the 17 million kids in the United States who are now eligible for Pfizer’s vaccine.
Hillsborough County health officials confirmed Thursday that the following sites will be offering the Pfizer vaccine to those 12+:
- Raymond James Stadium, Lot 14
- 4201 N. Himes, Tampa, FL 33607
- Daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- No appointment required
- Children’s Board
- 1002 E Palm Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
- Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed fourth Thursday of each month)
- No appointment required
- Larry Sanders Sports Complex
- 5855 S. 78th Street, Tampa, FL 33619
- Thursday and Friday (May 13 and 14) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- No appointment required. For quick and easy check-in at the vaccine site, it is recommended to create an account with CDR Health Pro by visiting patientportalfl.com
- Port Tampa Bay Cruise, Terminal 6
- 1331 McKay Street, Tampa, FL 33602
- Daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In Pinellas County, residents 12 years of age and older can go to the following locations to receive a vaccine starting Monday, May 17. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 727-824-6931.
- Clearwater Health Department
- 310 N. Myrtle Ave, Clearwater, FL 33755
- St. Petersburg Health Department
- 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701
- Mid-County Health Department
- 8751 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33771
- Pinellas Park Health Department
- 6350 76th Ave. N., Pinellas Park, FL 33781
Health leaders told 8 On Your Side the vaccination is important – even for kids who aren’t included in the “high-risk” category.
“Even those kids that don’t have underlying conditions can get sick, can get very sick from this and also can develop after infection that multi-system inflammatory disorder,” said Dr. Allison Messina, the head of the infectious disease division at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
Health leaders said they hope the the age expansion helps the country reach herd immunity.
In Florida, 970,000 children fall in the 12 to 15 age range. Under the new lowered age eligibility, 87% of Floridians can get the vaccine.
Everett said he already knows the fist stop after his second shot.
“I want to see my grandfather because he is recently going to need a lung transplant because he has lung disease,” the teen said.