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Mass. invites those ages 12-15 to preregister for COVID-19 vaccine shots

Olivia Edwards, 13, of Flourtown, Pa., receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from registered nurse Philene Moore at the King of Prussia Mall Tuesday.
Olivia Edwards, 13, of Flourtown, Pa., receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from registered nurse Philene Moore at the King of Prussia Mall Tuesday.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Hours before final approval for the shots may come from the federal government, Massachusetts is inviting children 12 to 15 to preregister to get Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.

“People who are aged 12-15 years old are encouraged to preregister at VaccineSignUp.mass.gov to receive the Pfizer vaccine soon,” the state website says.

The Pfizer vaccine already has been granted emergency authorization for people as young as 16.

The website says that a written consent form was already required for those under 18 and that the “form will be updated for people ages 12-15 once federal guidance has been published.”

The state offers preregistration for mass vaccination sites or certain regional collaborative locations. But there are plenty of other places to get shots, including health care locations, pharmacies, and board of health sites. There are more than 800 locations statewide, Governor Charlie Baker said last week. Hundreds offer walk-up appointments.

Boston Children’s Hospital sent out an e-mail to the “Boston Children’s Family” on Tuesday, saying it was offering the vaccine for the new age group and that people could sign up for them.

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CVS spokesman Matt Blanchette said in an e-mail Tuesday, “We’re fully prepared to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to children ages 12–15 at thousands of CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide as soon as permitted.”

The Pfizer vaccine, which was approved Monday for use by 12- to 15-year-olds by the US Food and Drug Administration, will be considered Wednesday by a group of advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pfizer and CDC representatives will present scientific evidence to the panel, called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, before its 15 voting members take a vote. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must then sign off on the panel’s recommendation.

The vaccine could be deployed to the younger age group as soon as Thursday. The move has long been anticipated as opening the door for the mass vaccination of middle and high school students before the next school year begins.

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Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.


Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.