The Riley County Health Department hopes to vaccinate children ages 12 to 17 with the Pfizer vaccine starting next week.

Pending federal approval of the Pfizer vaccine for youths, the health department will hold a vaccine clinic May 20 at Pottorf Hall focusing on giving the coronavirus vaccine to the 12-17 age group.

However, Alice Massimi, county public information officer, said staff members won’t turn people above age 18 away at the clinic.

“We are more than happy to vaccinate them,” she said Tuesday afternoon.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer vaccine — a two-dose vaccine — for children ages 12 to 15. On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee on immunization practices recommended that the CDC allows youth to get the vaccine.

The health department will receive its first shipment of Pfizer vaccines by the end of this week, Massimi said. Officials do not know the number of vaccines Riley County will receive, Massimi said.

The CDC had already approved Pfizer vaccinations for 16- and 17-year-olds. It is the only vaccine available for those under age 18.

The health department has been administering Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines; those vaccines are only approved for those over 18.

People can sign up online to get a vaccination at the May 20 clinic though the county government website. Nurses also will vaccinate walk-ins without an appointment, officials said.