Families, doctors encouraged with Pfizer approval for teens

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Doctors said getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 is an important step toward a post-pandemic life.

On Monday, the FDA officially approved the Pfizer vaccine to be given to children ages 12 to 15. The CDC is expected to vote on the approval Wednesday.

If approved, an additional 17 million American will become eligible to receive the vaccine.

Doctors said the vaccine will work the same for the younger age group as it does in adults – the same dosage, same two shots and same three weeks apart.

Even the side effects are the same, but they said getting COVID-19 could be much worse.

“While the likelihood of being very seriously ill from COVID in a young person is lower, it’s not zero,” said Dr. Robert Frank, director of the Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “That we’ve had over 300 children in the United States die of COVID, we’ve had over 14,000 children hospitalized from COVID and millions that have been infected. I can’t tell you which child is going to be the one that’s going to get seriously ill and that’s really why we need to vaccinate everyone.”

Meanwhile, families at Schiller Park in German Village said they’re pleased with the announcement, with several saying they’ve been open in discussing the vaccine with their children.

“I mean, I’m very clear, like, this isn’t over, you know,” said Rachel Cohen, a mother of three. “This is another pivot point and we’ll probably still be masking in certain situations, especially with people who are not vaccinated and indoors, but this will give us freedom and it will be better than it has been.”

After getting her own vaccine, Cohen said she had several talks with her 12-year-old daughter about getting it for herself.

Other parents like Lesley O’Reilly said that while her kids aren’t yet old enough to get the vaccine, she’s happy that others in her family and community might be able to.

“I think that, you know, I’m excited for my kids to eventually get it so I feel safer, and I think it’s good for everyone,” she said.

Doctors in Cincinnati are testing different doses for kids as young as six months old. Pfizer said its goal is to have those shots approved for younger children as soon as September.

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