Health

Louisville kids aged 12-15 will start receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Thursday. Norton Healthcare has pre-registered 3,000 kids in the age group to receive their first dose.

A CDC committee OK’d the vaccine for this group Wednesday afternoon following emergency authorization from the FDA Monday. 

Norton Medical Group Vice President of Operations Craig Johnson said vaccinating young people will help drive down overall community infections and provide relief for kids who have been cooped up during the pandemic. 

“I’ve got a daughter that has been doing high school in her bedroom basically for the last year….And that was one of her main reasons [for getting vaccinated]—she wanted to experience high school out of her bedroom,” Johnson said.

There are 37,416 Louisville children in the 12-15 age group, according to data obtained from the Louisville Metro health department. 

Online registration is open for 12- to 15-year-olds to sign up for appointments through Norton. Around 3,000 children in the age group have already signed up.

You can register on Norton’s main site, at the Norton Children’s site, or by calling 502-861-4499.

Johnson said Norton will make the shots available to 12- to 15-year-olds at all existing vaccination sites and at two new sites specifically for children. Norton is requiring anyone under 18 to have permission from a parent or legal guardian to get the vaccine. In addition, the parent or guardian must accompany the child to the vaccination appointment.

The number of adult vaccinations has slowed down, Johnson said, and he’s hoping that number picks up as parents bring kids in to get the shot. “If you’re bringing your child with you to be vaccinated, you can be vaccinated as well,” he said.

The Pfizer vaccine has already been approved for children 16 and up. 

So far, 285,911 people in Louisville have completed the vaccine series. That’s 37% percent of the population. 

There are still major geographical disparities in who is fully vaccinated. Majority Black, lower-income neighborhoods in the western half of Louisville have vaccination rates between about 20% and 29%, while wealthier, whiter neighborhoods in the east have vaccination rates between about 39% and 52%.

Here’s where you can find a provider and make a vaccination appointment.

In addition, University of Louisville Health is holding a free vaccination clinic for people 16 and older with no registration necessary at Doss High School and Fairdale High School. Photo ID is required.

  • Thursday, May 13, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Friday, May 14, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Jess Clark is WFPL's Education and Learning Reporter.