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Published on January 05, 2022

Gundersen offers COVID-19 vaccine booster for 12 to 15-year-olds

Gundersen Health System now offers the Pfizer COVID-19 booster to 12 to 15-year-olds. Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine approved for this age group.

Parents or guardians must schedule an appointment for children by calling (608) 775-6829. Patients and non-patients are welcome at Gundersen for the vaccination.

COVID vaccine clinics at open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at Gundersen La Crosse Clinic Level 1 and Gundersen Onalaska Clinic (Level 4).

Important notes for patients

  • 5 months between shots: Adults and eligible kids can now get a Pfizer COVID vaccine booster 5 months after their second dose (6 months previously).
  • A third dose (of the primary series) is now recommended for immunocompromised kids: Certain immunocompromised children ages 5- to 11-years-old should now receive a third dose of Pfizer COVID vaccine at least 28 days after the 2nd dose.

What else do I need to know about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and kids?

CDC and FDA recommendations for the Pfizer vaccine comes after a thorough review of clinical trial data and will include intense safety monitoring as kids receive the vaccine.

The most common side effects among kids during Pfizer clinical trials were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain, especially after the second dose.

Like adults, the Pfizer vaccine should not be given to kids with a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccine components. A very small number of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported among the approximately 285 million Pfizer vaccine doses provided in the United States.

Why should kids get the COVID-19 vaccine?

While the virus is much less likely to result in hospitalization or death compared to adults, children can still get very sick, have long-lasting symptoms that affect their health, or miss important activities like school and extra-curricular activities. There are also significant concerns related to the Omicron variant, which has led to a marked increase in hospitalizations among kids.

Children can also transmit COVID-19 to others, even when they are not showing symptoms. The COVID-19 vaccine protects kids and those around them (parents, siblings, grandparents, friends), especially those at greater risk of severe illness.

Receiving the COVID vaccine also reduces the number of infections in the community and gives the virus less opportunity to mutate and contribute to variants in our community.

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