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Pre-Teens And Teens Rush To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

A check in station for the COVID-19 vaccine at the Martin Luther King Jr Community Hospital.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Last week, L.A. County began offering the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to children as young as 12. The age expansion comes amid decreasing new vaccination numbers, which has resulted in many mass vaccination sites closing across the state.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says in the past week, health workers have seen a rush of teenagers coming in for shots.

"All sites are reporting increased numbers since Thursday,” she said.

Ferrer notes there are about 500,000 county residents aged 12-to-15. Younger residents have consistently had lower numbers of COVID-19 infections during the pandemic, but infections among that age group do occur.

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Vaccine administrators have run into some difficulty confirming the age of young people who turn up with parents for the shot.

“People ... need to be able to verify a child's age,” Ferrer said. “It’s very hard to tell who's 12 and who is 10.”

She added that parents and guardians should bring something to prove their child's age: birth certificates, passports, school records, immunization records or medical records.