OHA clarification: Sixteen and 17-year-olds are now eligible for vaccine: What’s different for them?

Now, everyone in Oregon who is 16 and older is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. If you’re 16 or 17, or the parent/guardian of someone who is, here’s what you need to know:

Pfizer is the only vaccine that is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by people under the age of 18. 

  • Not all vaccine websites tell you what kind of vaccine is available. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is working to increase information about the type of vaccine that’s available. VaccineFinder.org does allow you to search for locations that provide the Pfizer vaccine.  
  • There are some areas of the state where the Pfizer vaccine is not readily available. OHA is working to expand the availability of Pfizer throughout the state.  
  • Under Oregon law, minors 15 and older may give consent to medical treatment, including vaccinations, provided by a physician, physician assistant, naturopath, nurse practitioner, dentist or optometrist, or others operating under the license of these providers, without the consent of a parent or guardian.
  • It is OHA’s understanding that most locations where COVID-19 vaccinations are provided have oversight by a medical provider who would meet the definition of the provider types listed above, and therefore consent of a parent or guardian should not be required for a 16- or 17-year-old who wishes to get the Pfizer vaccine. Providers administering COVID-19 vaccinations to 16- or 17-year-old people should make it clear at the time a vaccine appointment is made whether consent from a parent or guardian will be required. 
  • The vaccine is free. You do not need to have insurance to use it. If you do have insurance, you may be asked for an insurance card so that an administration fee can be billed to the insurance company.  
  • You do not need to bring proof of eligibility, identification, social security number or health insurance. Vaccine providers may ask if you live in Oregon or what kind of work you do. 

For more information on vaccination for 16 and 17-year-old people, see the FAQ on OHA’s webpage