(WJW/AP) — The U.S. is urging that everyone 12 and older get a COVID-19 booster as soon as they’re eligible, to help fight back the hugely contagious omicron mutant that’s ripping through the country.
Boosters already were encouraged for all Americans 16 and older, but Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed an extra Pfizer shot for younger teens — those 12 to 15 — and strengthened its recommendation that 16- and 17-year-olds get it, too.
How quickly can parents begin scheduling booster shot appointments? The answer varies, depending on each provider.
“Because there is such demand in our community right now for vaccines, we are having to open special clinics, particularly with those after school hours and we’re hoping to begin those next week,” Dr. Brook Watts, Chief Medical Officer of Community and Public Health at MetroHealth, told FOX 8’s Maia Belay.
- Cleveland Clinic: A spokesperson said it can take a few days following CDC approval for booster vaccinations to begin at their facilities.
- Cuyahoga County Board of Health: The process is anticipated to take longer. A spokesperson said, “Once CDC approves, we then have to wait for ODH to adopt guidance and make provisions. Given that, it will likely take 1-2 weeks following approval for us to be prepared.”
- Discount Drug Mart is offering appointments on its website.
- Lorain County Public Health: Vaccinations could up to two days after approval. Additional appointment slots were added for the next three weeks to accommodate demand.
- Summit County Public Health said they will be ready to begin administering shots quickly.
- Walgreens is offering appointments on its website.
**We will keep updating this list as we learn more**
The Associated Press contributed to this report.