GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The CDC has officially given the green light to vaccinate younger kids.
Now, Triad locations are giving the Pfizer shot to kids as young as 12 years old.
Did you know, because of a North Carolina state law, kids do not need their parent's consent to get vaccinated?
The law states that a minor's consent is sufficient for certain medical health services.
The Guilford County Health Department published this in a memo:
The Guilford County Department of Public Health does not require parental or guardian consent for COVID-19 vaccinations given to those aged 12-17, as per the North Carolina General Statute 90-21.5.
"Obviously we prefer to have an adult there, but you’re right," Keith Acree said to WFMY News 2's Jess Winters. "State law does not require that, children can do that on their own."
Acree is a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. He oversees the Greensboro mass vaccination site at the Four Seasons.
"There’s an education component that goes along with that," he continued. "We certainly talk to the child or teen about symptoms and history to make sure they’re suitable to receive the vaccine even if a parent is not there."
Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift also said there is a lengthy chat before a vaccine is given to a minor.
"Obviously we encourage children to talk with their parents, and parents to talk to their children to make a right decision but under the general statute it's not required for them to be there," he explained.
But, he pointed out, that shots given at clinics on school grounds will require parent's permission.
"When we work with the schools they’ll be making sure they’ll be requiring consent from parents when we go on school grounds," he said. "But any other place we do clinics, it does not require consent."
He said the department of public health has been working with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to organize school clinics, and an announcement is forthcoming.
Swift said the Forsyth County health department started administering vaccines to the 12-15 age group on Thursday at 4 p.m.
"We will be starting the vaccine this evening from 4 to 8 p.m," he explained. "We already had vaccine appointments open and we’ve had individuals in that 12-15 range make appointments already."
There are more appointments available Saturday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Walk-ins are also welcome.
"There's been 120,000 children in North Carolina that have had COVID-19, so while there’s less risk overall compared to older individuals there still is a lot of activity and most of our new cases now are among younger people."
The Four Seasons site also started vaccinating younger kids Thursday.
"I know there's lots of parents who have been calling and asking when they’ll be able to do that, so we’re looking forward an increase over the next week or so with people coming to get their 12-15 years old’s vaccinated," Acree added.
The Guilford County Health Department and Cone Health start administering Pfizer shots to that age group on Friday.
Dr. Michael Cinoman, Executive Medical Director for Pediatric Services for Cone Health, said it's the same shot adults get. But, the experience will be a little more kid-friendly.
"Our staff of pediatric providers and clinicians will be the ones going to the sites to administer the vaccine, so it'll be done by people who are used to giving vaccines and taking care of children," Dr. Cinoman said. "And yes there will be stickers and other things," he emphasized.
Find out how to book your appointment here: