JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Two days after the FDA gave Pfizer the greenlight to provide children ages 12-15 with COVID-19 vaccines, Ballad Health announced it will begin vaccinating those 12 years and over Wednesday night.
Walk-ins are available at two locations Wednesday, May 12: The Mall at Johnson City at 2011 N. Roan St. and Indian Path Community Hospital at 2205 Pavilion Drive in Kingsport. These locations will be available to those 12 years and older until 7 p.m.
All Ballad Health community vaccination centers (CVCs) will reopen Thursday, May 13, for patients 12 years and older. Walk-ins are accepted, and community members can also schedule appointments to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’ve been energized and encouraged by the level of interest from our community members about these vaccines for children ages 12-15,” said Jamie Swift, Ballad Health’s chief infection prevention officer. “We’ve seen, from the shots we’ve provided to people age 16 and older so far, that these vaccines are safe and effective, and so we’re excited to be able to offer them to more of our community members.”
Swift noted that those aged 12-15 years are crucial in the health system’s effort to establish herd immunity. According to Swift, COVID-19 cases among children and teenagers ages 10-19 represent the highest percentage of new cases in the region.
These new cases among school-aged children continue to increase and linger above the region’s previous baseline.
Those getting vaccinated must bring a photo ID, and second doses will be scheduled when patients check in.
Those between 12-17 years old must have a parent or guardian present.
Ballad Health has provided more than 42,000 first-dose and 40,000 second-dose vaccines to eligible people in the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region.