LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine to Americans 12-15-years-old, with the drug maker claiming it’s 100% effective in that age group.
“Parents who want to protect their children, younger teens who want to get vaccinated, we’re a step closer to that goal now,” said President Joe Biden.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory board will review the data and finalize guidance tomorrow, and the Southern Nevada Health District is awaiting the recommendations.
The news has many parents talking.
“We’ve been vaccinating people down to age 16 for the entire year,” shared Michael Tenby, a pediatrician with Centennial Pediatrics. “…I feel things should be pretty much the same for ages.”
He understands children aren’t at the same risk of serious complications like adults, but they can get sick — and spread the virus.
“This age group is very exciting. They are out; they are mixing with their friends,” said Tenby. “They are more exposed. We are now in classrooms, so I think it’s great.”
He shares he is getting a lot of questions from both parents and children, even his own son.
“A lot … my son, in particular, is very excited about getting that vaccine,” Tenby said. “We are excited to get it for him, and then he will be excited to go back to school.”
For other parents, they are worried about the long-term effects.
“My thoughts are just the fact that we haven’t seen a big increase or big influx of these kids getting sick with coronavirus to inject something that is not quite well known yet,” shared parent Walter Fraidenburg.
He has three kids, ages 11, 14 and 18, and not one of them has asked to get the vaccine. They’ve resumed sports and seeing friends.
“I think that for these children that want to get back to normal life, I think that’s what we have to do, just have them act a normal life, with or without the vaccine,” Fraidenburg said.
Felicia Lytle wants more research done, especially for her daughter, who has asthma.
“If they are required for school, unfortunately, I’m going to have to get it because my kid needs to be around other kids,” she said.
Tenby encouraged, “I believe this vaccine will be very well tolerated with normal routine medicines, allergy, ADHD medicines, things like that.”
As for kids younger than 12, they could be getting it by the end of the year.