Here’s how you can sign your 12 to 15-year-old up for a Covid-19 vaccination

MADISON, Wis. — Even though on Monday the FDA gave its approval for the Pfizer vaccine to be used for kids 12-15-years-old, we’re still waiting for the green light from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After that approval, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services also needs to give the go ahead before Wisconsinites 12-15 can start getting immunized. Both of these approvals could come as early as Wednesday.

Until then, vaccinators are doing things a little differently in terms of scheduling that age group.

Fitchburg Family Pharmacy has been scheduling 12-15-year-olds since last week, assuming the approvals would come before this Thursday. The pharmacy has well over 1,500 kids already signed up for four remote clinics in Verona, Middleton and Fitchburg next week.

But pharmacist Thad Schumacher said Fitchburg Family Pharmacy isn’t accepting any more new appointments because they need space to move appointments back if the CDC and DHS don’t give approval soon.

At UW Health, you won’t be able to make a vaccine appointment for 12-15-year-olds until after the approvals are official.

When that does happen, parents will be able to schedule an appointment for their kids at uwhealth.org/vaccine.

“This won’t be the access issue people might’ve experienced for themselves personally with the adult population. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be instantaneous, but we feel good about where that’s going to be at. People are going to have access and be able to get their kids scheduled in a really timely fashion,” said Dr. Matt Anderson at UW Health.

He said there are an estimated 25,000 12-15-year-olds in Dane County. He thinks this group will be able to get vaccinated pretty quickly.

SSM Health has about 10,000 patients in that age range across five geographies in Southern Wisconsin. The health system has been able to give up to 12,000 vaccines a week, so getting through this group shouldn’t take long.

“It’s just a matter of getting them on our schedules and we’ll be able to do this. This is not like previously where the supply was the problem,” said Dr. Dave Ottenbaker, VP of Primary Care Services at SSM Health.

SSM Health is tentatively planning to start vaccinating this group on Monday, waiting to see if the consent process will have to change. Currently, 16 and 17-year-olds need a parent’s permission on a form, in person, or over the phone.

SSM Health will be open for walk-ins at many of its clinics, and you can also make appointments over the phone (in the Madison area, you can call (608) 250-1222).

If you want to walk into a clinic, you should check online or call ahead to make sure the clinic you’re heading to has Pfizer on hand.

“We’ll also have two school districts that we are going to do a mobile vaccine unit. That is being developed. And we are also currently talking to other school systems to say if that would work for them, we would be more than happy to vaccine on site at their schools,” said Ottenbaker.