Nicklaus Children’s offering COVID vaccine to teens, young adults with at-risk conditions

Michelle Marchante
·2 min read

Florida teens and young adults ages 16 to 21 who are being treated for certain high-risk medical conditions can soon get a COVID-19 vaccine through Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

The South Miami-area hospital announced the vaccinations Friday and said appointments will become available through its online portal Monday at People older than 21 and under the care of a pediatrician or pediatric specialist will be considered on a case-by-case basis, according to the hospital.

“While most children are only mildly affected by COVID-19, those with complex conditions may be at risk of severe illness if they contract the virus. We are honored to be able to offer the vaccine to support the care of vulnerable children in Florida,” said Matthew A. Love, president and CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System, the parent organization of the hospital.

How can your child or teen get the COVID-19 vaccine at Nicklaus Children?

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital will administer the PfizerBioNTech vaccine, which received emergency-use authorization for people 16 and older and requires two doses, 21 days apart. The two other vaccines available in the United States, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, are for people 18 and older.

To be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, young adults 16 to 21 must be under the care of a physician or specialist for one or more health conditions considered at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The hospital said it’s using a list of conditions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine eligibility.

These conditions include asthma (moderate to severe), cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes (type 1 or 2), Down syndrome, heart conditions, hypertension, immunocompromised conditions, liver disease, neurologic conditions, obesity, pulmonary fibrosis, sickle cell disease or thalassemia.

A teen’s parents or legal guardian will need to show proof of Florida residency the day of the appointment. There is no county requirement, which means families who live in Broward or the Florida Keys are also eligible.

Parents or the legal guardian will also be required to show a signed form from their child’s physician confirming that they are being treated for one of the eligible high risk conditions. The form is the one the Florida Department of Health made available earlier this week on its website. The form can also be downloaded from Nicklaus Children’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage, which is where you will also make the vaccine appointment.

Nicklaus Children’s said it has already vaccinated 500 eligible patients through outreach to other area hospitals and health systems, pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists in Florida. It recently received additional supplies of Pfizer’s vaccine, which is why it’s now offering appointments.

Anyone who books an appointment will be vaccinated in the research building on the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital campus near South Miami and Coral Gables. The address is 3100 SW 62nd Ave.