DENVER (KDVR) — Families are running out of time to get their kids ages 12-17 fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in time for the start of the new school year.
Many Colorado schools start in mid- to late August, so the window is closing.
Pfizer is the only approved vaccine for children 12-17. It requires two doses, three weeks apart. Then it takes another two weeks to be considered fully vaccinated.
So if your child gets their first dose on July 19, they could get the second dose on Aug. 9. Then they would be considered fully vaccinated on Aug. 23.
“Get the kids in,” said Dr. Sonja O’Leary, medical director of Denver Health’s School-based Health Centers.
“In order for your student to have a more normal school year, I think it’s going to be really important to get them vaccinated if they are eligible,” O’Leary said.
There is no vaccine available for kids age 11 or younger right now.
Dr. O’Leary said children are less likely to be severely impacted by COVID, but the highly contagious Delta variant is a big concern.
“They still can get sick. They still can have bad consequences like death, and they could actually bring the Delta variant home,” O’Leary said.
Denver Health’s 18 school-based health centers are hoping to have a vaccine available to give students by late August. O’Leary hopes this school year will be better than the last.
“My hope is that we won’t have to quarantine kids as much as we did last year, especially if they are vaccinated. I think it’s going to be an interesting school year,” O’Leary said.