Evansville hospitals await CDC approval to vaccinate children 12-15 years old

Evansville hospitals await CDC approval to vaccinate children 12-15 years old
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Monday, the FDA announced the approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination to be used on children ages 12 to 15 years old.

[PREVIOUS: Pfizer COVID-19 shot expanded to US children as young as 12]

It’s an announcement that has been long-awaited by pediatricians.

“Kids are big spreaders of germs, I think we all know that. We’ve all gotten those colds passed along from our kids. And by protecting this age group, we are going to help prevent the spread to their parents and grandparents,” said Dr. Sarah Rust, Deaconess Pediatrician.

Local health officials expect an approval by the CDC within the next two days, and they are already preparing for that proposal, saying that some kids may be able to get their first dose on Thursday.

Doctors at Deaconess and Ascension St. Vincent say the registration process should be similar to scheduling an appointment as an adult. Once scheduled, you go to your designated vaccine clinic when it’s your time.

St. Vincent plans to accept walk-in visitors, too.

“We hope that we are very busy after school or before school. I would encourage parents to anticipate that particularly after the second dose, possibly the first, that their kids may have a little bit of achiness or fatigue,” said Dr. Heidi Dunniway of Ascension St. Vincent.

[RELATED: Tri-State schools & parents react to Pfizer age 12-15 vaccine approval]

But even with the risk of those side effects, local doctors are encouraging parents to strongly consider the vaccine for their children. Pfizer’s trial showed that the vaccine was 100% effective in more than 2,000 children.

“I think it’s really key, we’ve got to build that herd immunity, it also helps families reunite. You know, kids right now without being eligible for the vaccine, there’s a chance they may be symptomatic carriers and can potentially spread it to those who are more vulnerable,” explained Dr. Dunniway.

“We all want to return to a little bit of normalcy. And I think that being able to vaccinate kids in this age group, we’re going to be able to slowly kind of change those restrictions, as far as keeping kids in schools and adjusting those kind of guidelines,” stated Dr. Rust.

Deaconess says it is waiting for more information from the Indiana State Department of Health about what kind of documentation parents will need when registering their child for an appointment.

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