BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermonters ages 12 to 15 can now get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after U.S. health advisers endorsed its use for those ages.

Registration for vaccine appointments opened Thursday morning.

Pfizer’s vaccine has been used for months in people 16 and older. Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration cleared its use for those as young as age 12.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday concluded that the shots will let kids safely attend camps this summer and help assure a more normal return to classrooms next school year. The CDC accepted its advisers’ recommendation.

The Vermont Health Department is encouraging parents and caregivers to vaccinate these young Vermonters. Parental/caregiver consent is required and can be given when registering online or in-person at a clinic.

The Health Department is working with the Education Agency to offer clinics at schools that will be open during the day and evening. Some pharmacies, including CVS and Kinney Drugs, are providing the shot to this age group, with appointments or walk-in opportunities available right away, the Health Department said.

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NUMBERS

The Vermont Department of Health on Thursday reported 72 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to more than 23,720.

There were 10 people hospitalized, including two in intensive care.

The number of fatalities remained at 252.

The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 69.29 new cases a day on April 27 to 57.71 new cases a day Tuesday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 0.43 deaths a day on April 27 to 0.57 deaths a day Tuesday.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.