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Anchorage Health Department encourages parents to vaccinate children against COVID-19

13 year-old Henry Stibitz prepares for his first COVID-19 shot.
13 year-old Henry Stibitz prepares for his first COVID-19 shot.(ktuu)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 3:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Health Department said Thursday it strongly encourages younger children to be vaccinated against COVID-19, ideally before school starts, following new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We recommend anybody 12 and up get the vaccine to be fully protected, and be able to get back to enjoying summer and all the activities we haven’t been able to do,” said the department’s Christy Lawton.

Lawton said the health department has added the Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine approved for youth aged 12-15, to all of its public clinics which are now accepting walk-ins in addition to appointments.

“So Alaska Airlines Center, our drive-through at the Northway Mall, Dimond Mall, all of those locations will have Pfizer,” she said. “You can also get the other types if you are older and interested in those as well.”

More information on specific clinics can be found on the state’s “Sleeves Up for Summer” website.

Lawton said minors who wish to be vaccinated should be accompanied by an adult who can give consent.

The Anchorage School District does not require students to be vaccinated to attend school, although Greta Wade, ASD’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said there will be a number of vaccination clinics for families who are interested.

“There will be vaccinations offered at all of the summer school sites,” Wade said. “In addition, we are going to having 11 clinics throughout the district at different sites … they are going to be walk-in, drive-through or by appointment, so we are going to be welcoming students and families to be vaccinated.”

Wade said the first clinic will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 22 at the Anchorage School District Headquarters on Boniface Parkway and Northern Lights Boulevard. Future clinic locations can be found at the state’s COVID-19 website where people can also make appointments if they wish.

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