California Family Physicians Applaud Expansion of COVID-19 Vaccine to Adolescents

California authorized the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 12-15. The move came after a group of experts from California and other Western states independently reviewed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) decision to approve the vaccine for that age group. California youth in that age range can make appointments for the Pfizer vaccine at or through their doctor’s office. The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) and its more than 10,000 members welcome this announcement and are eager to assist in vaccination efforts. 

CAFP President David Bazzo, MD urges the rollout of this expansion to take place as soon as possible, and that state and national governments look to family physicians to help lead this effort. “Family physicians are the usual source of care for about 20 percent of US children, and more than 80 percent of family physicians care for children aged 18 and younger. It is essential that family physicians be included in the effort to vaccinate this important population.”

Allocating vaccines to community-based primary care clinics and physician practices ensures the equitable administration of vaccines, particularly to hard-to-reach populations like the unsheltered, undocumented immigrants, and minority and marginalized communities. People trust their physicians when it comes to decisions about vaccines. 

“Family physicians stand ready to serve as partners in vaccine education, distribution, and administration. We work to support efforts to ensure everyone receives the vaccine, especially those populations who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Family physicians trust the science of vaccines, and educate our patients to understand more about vaccine,” said Dr. Bazzo.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky MD, MPH, encourages parents with questions to talk to their family physician to learn more about the vaccine and to ensure children are up-to-date on routinely recommended vaccines.

Family physicians have championed community vaccination for decades, and know we all must do our part to stop COVID-19. That means vaccinating as many people as possible who are eligible. “Ensuring we vaccinate as many people in a safe and evidence-based way as soon as possible, including adolescents, means a quicker return to safely interacting with our family and friends, enjoying our favorite restaurant, returning to school, and peace of mind that our loved ones and communities are protected,” said Dr. Bazzo.

About the California Academy of Family PhysiciansWith more than 10,000 members, including active practicing family physicians, residents in family medicine, and medical students interested in the specialty, CAFP is the largest primary care medical society in California. Family physicians are trained to treat an entire family’s medical needs, addressing the whole spectrum of life’s medical challenges. Family Physicians serve a broad base of patients in urban, suburban and rural areas, often in California’s most underserved areas. 

SOURCE California Academy of Family Physicians

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