Kids as young as 12 can begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts


FILE – This Jan. 24, 2021, file photo shows a vial of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 in Seattle. U.S. regulators on Monday, May 10, 2021, expanded use of Pfizer’s shot to those as young as 12, sparking a race to protect middle and high school students before they head back to class in the fall. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Children ages 12 through 15 can begin receiving Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts on Thursday.

The state began allowing shots into the arms of the 400,000 kids who fall into that age category after an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Wednesday to recommend Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the age group.

Young people can book appointments or use walk-up access to receive the shot. A program providing free COVID-19 testing in 35 locations across the state is being extended through Sept. 30.

The “Stop the Spread” initiative was set to close June 30.

Baker also acknowledged the CDC’s update to its mask-wearing guidelines, stating that while he welcomes the recommendations, the requirement will remain in place for now.

This comes as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports 616 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to to 655,350. In addition, the state agency also reported nine COVID-related deaths.

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