SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – As the FDA looks to authorize the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12-15 year olds, health officials in Marin County said they plan to act fast once the shot is approved for adolescents.
Marin County Public Health said there are about 14,000 people aged 12-15 in the county. Officials seek to vaccinate at least half of the group within a week of authorization.READ MORE: Two Women Die In Horrific Saturday Evening Rohnert Park Crash
The FDA is set to make a decision on authorizing the vaccine for adolescents as early as Wednesday, May 12.
“Having entire middle and high schools protected with vaccine, in both staff and students, will be a game-changer,” health officer Dr. Matt Willis said in a statement Friday. “We’ve shown we can make schools safe with rigorous safety protocols, but wide vaccine uptake gives us a lot more freedom and confidence in restoring some normalcy in kids’ lives.”
County officials said the strategy to reach their goal includes leveraging mass vaccination sites that offer evening and weekend appointments, along with sending mobile vaccination units to schools in underserved communities.READ MORE: San Francisco Bay Area Residents Prepare For California's 'COVID Independence Day'
Once the vaccine is authorized by federal and state authorities, the vaccination site at the Larkspur ferry terminal plans to open 6,000 appointments geared toward families, with slots available throughout the week.
Marin County Public Health said it has also partnered with Safeway to offer up to 1,000 vaccinations at Miller Creek School in Marinwood on Saturday, May 15 and Saturday, May 22, pending authorization.
Health officials said they hope to repeat the results made in their efforts vaccinating teens 16 and older. In three weeks of eligibility, officials said 80% of Marin teens aged 16-18 have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.MORE NEWS: COVID Recovery: Businesses Hoping End Of COVID-19 Restrictions Will Bring Crowds Back To Ferry Building
As of Friday, 142,058 Marin County residents, or 67.8% of the eligible population, is fully vaccinated according to county data.