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Tri-State doctor’s 8-year-old daughter gets COVID vaccine

Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 10:27 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 7, 2021 at 1:40 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended for children ages 5-11 to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, kids have started to get the shot, including a Tri-State doctor’s daughter.

[COVID vaccines now available for children at Ascension St. Vincent]

Inside the imposing walls of the Deaconess Gateway Hospital, Mallie Benton likes to visit her father’s office.

Her father is Dr. Andrew Benton, a family physician with Deaconess. He says he was excited for her to have a particular visit to the hospital on Saturday - when she got vaccinated.

Mallie, who’s 8 years old, qualifies to receive a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which is now available to children in the 5-11 age group. This is something for which her dad is entirely supportive.

“This vaccine is going to be the best way that we have to get kids’ lives back to normal,” Dr. Benton said.

[Tri-State doctors discuss Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approval for children ages 5-11]

The doctor says COVID-19 has hospitalized over 8,000 children in the 5-11 age group, and he cited a study showing kids experience side effects of the vaccine less than adults. So he’s grateful his daughter can get the vaccine, especially with all his patients who have had the virus.

“In my line of work, unfortunately, I see a lot of bad outcomes for patients,” Dr. Benton said. “I’ve had, I don’t know, dozens maybe hundreds of my own patients that have had coronavirus already, and most of them have been pretty mild, thank goodness. But I’ve certainly had experiences and patients, some of them pretty young, that have had pretty bad outcomes with it, and that probably has made me more cautious with my own family.”

Mallie’s reason for getting the vaccine was more direct.

“I got the COVID vaccine because that way I don’t get COVID and it’s less likely for me to die,” she said.

She got the shot on Saturday morning, and says she wasn’t even scared.

“I would think that COVID would be worser than getting a shot,” Mallie said.

But she did keep her friend Oscar, a stuffed dog, with her just in case.

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