The Loudoun County Health Department began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents ages 12 to 15 Thursday, following state and federal approval.

"I encourage parents to get their kids vaccinated as soon as possible because vaccinating this age group is another important step toward getting back to normal," LCHD Director Dr. David Goodfriend said in a prepared statement Thursday morning.

The Health Department said earlier this week that it was able to start scheduling appointments for 12- to 15-year-olds after the Virginia Department of Health and federal health agencies gave their respective approval.

In a recent trial study, data showed the vaccine was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among adolescents in this age group.

"Our nation's top public health experts have carefully evaluated the data and we have great confidence in the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine for everyone age 12 years and older," Goodfriend said.

Previously, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was only available to citizens 16 and up.

Per county officials, parents can make an appointment at the LCHD clinic at Dulles Town Center by visiting loudoun.gov/COVID19vaccine and following the steps to schedule an appointment in the Vaccine Administration Management System.

Those needing assistance to schedule an appointment are encouraged to call the COVID-19 Information Line at 703-737-8300 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.

Vaccine recipients between 12 and 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to the vaccination site.

Shots in Sterling May 22

Pfizer vaccines will be offered including to children aged 12 to 15 at Park View High School in Sterling on May 22. The follow up second dose event will be on June 19.

Pre-register at www.medspack.com. Event code PVHS201.

Patients are urged to bring or show the confirmation email on the same of day vaccination.

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