Holly Ainsworth, a nursing intern at the University of Texas, prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to Stephanie Vasquez, a PACU Nurse at UT HS-ASC, on Dec. 15, 2020.

Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

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Texans as young as 12 years old can soon start getting the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 immunization, state officials announced Thursday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services advised providers that the vaccine can be administered to adolescents age 12 to 15 years old, in line with federal guidance.

“While children are less likely than adults to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19, they can be infected with the virus and spread infection in their homes and communities,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services and chair of the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, in a letter to vaccine providers. “DSHS believes that promptly vaccinating the adolescents in this age group is another valuable tool that will help end the COVID-19 pandemic and have a direct and positive effect on schools being open for classroom learning.”

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