The Missoula City-County Health Department announced on Wednesday it would begin accepting COVID-19 vaccination appointments for individuals age 12 and up.
This week, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for the 12 to 15 age group by both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, it had been limited to people age 16 and older.
"The Health Department strongly encourages parents and guardians to get their teens vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent them from missing class due to quarantines, to protect immunocompromised students and teachers, and to protect themselves from long-COVID or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome," a release from the health department said.
Parents and guardians should be aware the age group should get vaccinated as soon as possible, the release added. Children need to wait two weeks after their second COVID shot to get the rest of their routine vaccinations.
"Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine is required for all incoming seventh graders," the release noted.
The health department's COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic runs seven days a week and appointments can be made at covid19.missoula.co. The health department also runs a Monday through Friday immunization clinic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 301 West Adler St. Appointments are required.
Jordan Hansen covers news and local government for the Missoulian. Contact him on Twitter @jordyhansen or via email at Jordan.Hansen@Missoulian.com