Pediatric Partners of the Southwest will hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic targeting 16- to 17-year-olds, the youngest age group cleared for inoculations, from 3 to 7 p.m. April 29 at Durango High School.
The vaccination clinic will be free and will use the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for 16- and 17-year-olds.
While targeting 16- and 17-year-olds, the clinic will be open to everyone seeking a COVID-19 vaccination. Registration is required online through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Sign Up for Vaccinations webpage.
“Once you get the vaccination, if you’re exposed you don’t have to quarantine, and that’s particularly important to this age group. Quarantines can be disruptive of teens’ social lives and the sports they are participating in,” said Dr. Cecile Fraley, CEO of Pediatric Partners of the Southwest.
The clinic is tentatively planned for the DHS football stadium, but it could move.
Fraley said it is important for eligible teenagers, who are at an age when they often feel invulnerable, to get the COVID-19 vaccination, not only to limit transmission of the novel coronavirus, but also because variants seem to be causing more severe illnesses among younger people.
Dr. Kim Caruso with Pediatric Partners of the Southwest, said, “Teenagers and young adults are the most active segment right now, at least in our corner of the state, as far as new cases that we’re seeing and who are passing the virus around the community.”
The clinic currently has 100 doses available, but Fraley said if demand is heavy, more doses might be made available, so she encouraged everyone to sign up, even if they are put on the clinic’s online waiting list.
Pediatric Partners of the Southwest is also looking at doing a similar clinic targeting 16- and 17-year-olds in Bayfield.