TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Now that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for administration to 12-15-year-olds, the Tompkins County Health Department has announced a local clinic that would provide opportunities for the newly eligible population to receive their first shot. The clinic is open to anyone over 12 years old, including those older than 15.

Obviously, since Pfizer is the only one approved for their population, people who are between 12-15 years old will only receive that vaccine. From the health department’s announcement, it appears anyone that shows up to the clinic on Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. will receive the Pfizer vaccine.

More information is here:

  • Saturday, May 22 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
  • 12 years and older 
  • Appointments available: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19popup#mall-may22  
  • Pfizer vaccine 
  • Call 211 (1-877-211-8667) during business hours, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. for assistance registering and for transportation options. 
  • For minors under 18, a parent or guardian is required to identify the minor and provide consent. 

“In clinical trials, approximately 23,000 individuals 12 years of age and older have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer vaccine,” said Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “Based on these trials, FDA has authorized use of this vaccine for young people 12-15 years old. This expansion will provide another layer of protection for our community and will be critical to the further re-opening of schools. We know the challenges that our youth have faced this past year not being able to be in school full-time. We encourage families to be informed about the benefits of receiving this vaccine and make an appointment as soon as you are able.”

The new eligibility should help local school districts with their plans to re-open classrooms next academic year, as has been the plan for the Ithaca City School District.

According to multiple reports, most notably by the Associated Press, the Centers for Disease Control also seems poised to adjust its mask-wearing guidance, now allowing for fully vaccinated people to go unmasked indoors “in many instances,” which theoretically would likely mean outdoor mask-wearing is unnecessary for fully vaccinated people.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com