Youth can't get COVID vaccination in Hill County
Can be vaccinated through partner health departments
Last updated 3/13/2021 at 10:12pm
For now, entities in Hill County, cannot vaccinate 16- and 17-year-olds with underlying conditions despite them being eligible for vaccination due to a lack of the Pfizer vaccine, requiring them to go to other counties.
Hill County Public Health Director and Health Officer Kim Larson confirmed the situation in an email Thursday and said it will continue as long as the county only has access to the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, a situation she does not see changing soon.
“Locally, we can only vaccinate people 18 and older because of which vaccine we have,” she said. “We do not and will not have the Pfizer vaccine that I am aware of at this time.”
The Pfizer vaccine, which received emergency-use authorization in December of last year, is the only one that is allowed in the U.S. to be used on people 16 and older, while the Moderna vaccine, which received approval a few weeks later, is only approved for people 18 and older.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received its own emergency-use authorization late last month, is also only approved on people 18 and older.
Larson said these are rules the health department must follow.
“We cannot use them on people it is not licensed for,” she said.
She did say, however, that some families in the county who have 16- or 17-year-olds with underlying conditions and the Health Department has been able to work through partnered health departments in other counties and the families’ primary care providers to have the youths scheduled for vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine.