Cooper visits Wake clinic as children 12 and older start receiving COVID-19 vaccine

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Gov. Roy Cooper visited a Wake County walk-in vaccine site in Raleigh on Thursday, the first day that the Pfizer vaccine became available for children age 12 to 15.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for early teens on Monday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally recommended use for that age group on Wednesday.

“We’re pleased to see that vaccinations have been expanded,” Cooper said at press conference after the tour. “These experts believe that this is safe and effective.”

Cooper was joined by other elected officials including two Democrat state legislators who represent Wake County — Rep. Joe John and Sen. Wiley Nickel — as well as Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria.

Cooper toured the Wake County Human Services Center at Departure Drive, one of two walk-in clinics in the county that offers the Pfizer vaccine to children age 12 to 15. At least two children that age — a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy — received their shots while the governor was visiting.

The second clinic is at the Wake County Public Health Center. Both locations also accept appointments for vaccinations, said Stacy Beard, Wake County external communications manager.

Cooper spoke with health administrators at the site, health care staff and those being vaccinated, both children and adults.

“You guys are the real heroes,” Cooper said to health care staff during the tour.

Appointments for child vaccinations in Wake County opened Wednesday night, Beard said, and over 600 adults signed up for their children.

She said several others had come to the clinic on Thursday for walk-in vaccinations for their children.

Beard said if demand increases, Wake County is capable of opening more clinics that can offer vaccines to children.

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