Adolescents ages 12 to 15 could begin receiving Pfizer vaccine in Oklahoma as early as Thursday

U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to those as young as 12. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health expects that adolescents ages 12 to 15 will be able to begin getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as Thursday.

The FDA granted emergency use authorization Monday to the Pfizer vaccine for individuals as young as 12 years old. State Health Commissioner Keith Reed is hopeful that shots can begin being administered to that age group by the end of the week or even Thursday, he said Tuesday.

Reed said a wide network of pandemic providers and partners are able to store the Pfizer vaccine for ease of access, which is helped by a relaxation of cold storage requirements that allows the Pfizer vaccine to be kept at standard frozen temperatures for up to two weeks.

“We will turn on the portal’s registration allowance for this age group as soon as (the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) recommends approval to CDC,” Reed said in an email. “Parents will then be able to register their children and access locations to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

“Additionally, systems outside the state’s portal should provide opportunity for appointment scheduling. Walk-in appointments are also available in abundance.”

The ACIP, a CDC advisory committee, is scheduled to meet Wednesday. Reed said the CDC typically offers its approval within 24 hours of an ACIP recommendation.