A Pfizer employee with vials at the company's Kalamazoo, Mich. facility on November 16, 2020. Pfizer's largest manufacturing site, the 1,300 acre facility produces active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), drug products (DP) and medical devices. (Photo courtesy of Pfizer)

San Franciscans 12 and older can now begin receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, city officials said Thursday.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people between the ages of 12 and 15.

Since April, only San Franciscans 16 and above were eligible for the vaccine.

“This expanded eligibility is important progress in our fight against COVID-19, one that is especially encouraging as we look to fully open all of our schools for full-time, in-person learning,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “By creating a network of vaccination sites in our city, we’ve focused on making the vaccines easy to access by meeting people where they are. We will continue that effort with strategies specifically targeting our youth and their families. As we bring this focus to younger people, we encourage everyone to take this opportunity to make sure all eligible family members are getting vaccinated.”

The newly expanded eligibility comes as 75 percent of city residents have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, with the city vaccinating some 8,500 people per day, city officials said.

“The fact that we are at a point in this pandemic where we can offer vaccines to youth ages 12 to 15 is a truly remarkable sign of progress,” San Francisco Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said. “The more people we vaccinate, the more we can get back to the things we love without the fear of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to a friend or loved one.”

About 25,000 children between 12 and 15 years old live in the city.

Typically, consent from a minor’s parent or legal guardian is required for the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, because the FDA has classified administration of the vaccine as emergency, SFDPH has issued a new emergency health order allowing minors 12 years old and up to consent to receiving the Pfizer vaccine. The new health order also calls for the health care provider administering the vaccine to reasonably attempt to notify the minor’s parent or guardian and allow that person to object the administration of the vaccine, according to city officials.

With the latest expansion, SFDPH and the city’s COVID Command Center are working with the San Francisco Unified School District to bring the vaccine to some school sites in the near future.

Newly eligible residents and their families can visit www.sf.gov/getvaccinated to find locations administering the Pfizer vaccine and to schedule appointments.