COVID-19 vaccinations expanded to younger population

Posted on May 14 2021

Starting today, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. will now be expanding the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 12- to 15-year-olds at the Medical Care and Treatment Site at the CHCC upper parking lot, at the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In a statement from CHCC, it said that CHCC will now offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the MCATS vaccination site. CHCC will accept walk-ins but minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If not, they must have a parental consent forms.

Separately, Board of Education chair Andrew Orsini said in a text message that the Public School System isn’t mandating the vaccine for now, especially for the younger students who have no health issues.

“Younger students (elementary grade) who have no health issues are not required to be vaccinated. The U.S. CDC says they don’t necessarily need vaccination due to their stronger immunity,” said Orsini.

When asked about social distancing in the classroom, Orsini said the federal government encourages lessening social distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet in the elementary school level in U.S. schools.

For those who are interested in getting the vaccine, the parent consent forms are available at CHCC requires a valid government-issued identification card or birth certificate to be presented at the time of registration.

Transportation to and from MCATS is free and available for minors with signed parent consent forms. To avail of the free transportation, register online at, or call 682-7468.

School-based vaccination is being planned in selected schools and will be announced later. Also, the 12- to 17-year-olds who complete their two-dose series will receive gift bags.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.
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