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Parents urged to schedule students’ vaccinations now

Parents often make appointments for their children’s back-to-school vaccines in July or August, but with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine now available to those 12 years and older, the Nevada State Immunization Program encourages families to schedule their children‘s vaccination appointments now.

“The authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids 12 and older is a great step for the health of our communities, and we know it will provide protection for our students, teachers, school personnel and families as in-person education ramps up,” said Karissa Loper, health bureau chief of the Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness. “Additionally, we know this past year has been tough on families, and many children may be overdue for routine vaccines. Now is the time to check with your health care provider and get caught up.”

Families can review their child’s vaccination information available through the Nevada WebIZ public portal at https://izrecord.nv.gov/public/Application/PublicPortal in preparation for the 2021-22 school year. An email address or phone number that accepts text messages must be stored on the record for the system’s authentication process to protect patient information.

Records also may be requested from a vaccinating provider or by contacting the Nevada WebIZ Help Desk at 775-684-5954 or izit@health.nv.gov

Certain vaccinations are required for enrollment in Nevada public and private schools, and there are specific requirements for students who are new to Nevada or for those entering kindergarten, seventh grade or universities. Families can visit Nevada’s statewide coalition, Immunize Nevada, at https://www.immunizenevada.org/school-vaccinations for a complete list of vaccination requirements.

While a COVID-19 vaccine is not required for school, it is strongly recommended that all eligible individuals get the vaccine to protect the health of students and those working in schools.

The COVID-19 vaccine approved for individuals 12 years of age and older requires two doses, spaced 21 days apart. In May, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include those 12 years and older.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviewed the authorization and provided recommendations on the use of the vaccine for this younger population, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup reviewed and endorsed the expansion.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free and available to everyone 12 years and older. Information on appointments and walk-in clinics is available at NVCOVIDFighter.org or by calling 800-401-0946.

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