Healthbeat: High school students receive COVID vaccine as FDA pushes to get 12-year-olds eligible

Healthbeat

KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Last month, the FDA granted emergency use authorization to administer Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to 16 and 17-year-olds. Now, we could be just days away from even younger children being declared eligible for the shot.

PAK Pediatrics has been giving the COVID vaccine to eligible patients including some high school students. But now, a federal push is underway to make children eligible as young as middle school age for the shot.

“I think it’s great,” said Rachel Courtney the mother of her 13-year-old son, Connor, who would be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine as part of the planned push to include younger adolescents.

“I’ve been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine so as soon as it’s available I would love for him to have the opportunity to get the vaccine,” stated Courtney.

“I’m excited, you know. It’s a good thing to do and we’re making history doing this so…” said Connor Courtney.

If approved, the federal plan would provide Pfizer vaccines directly to pediatricians. That way parents can discuss any hesitancy they may have with doctors and medical staff they are familiar and comfortable with and trust.

“We are dedicated to getting these vaccines out to everyone in the community but we’re really trying to focus on the children,” said Amy McGlynn, R.N. Clinical Manager, at PAK Pediatrics.

While some of those COVID vaccinations have happened in the office, she says PAK has gone mobile in its mission.

“So we actually have been doing clinics at the school. We’ve been doing Saturday. We actually set up three more clinics next week to go to the school,” stated McGlynn.

But the unanswered question is will vaccine hesitancy prove to be a problem in a younger age group.

“Everybody is very hesitant that I talked to, especially my friends,” said Gavin Flanley, an 18-year-old Wyoming Seminary Senior. Flanley says he isn’t hesitant. He’s in between shots.

“I want it. I want it to come quicker, to be honest. I want it to come sooner. I just want to get it out of the way,” said Flanley.

“All the other vaccines have been, you know, proving our children safe and we really just have to have trust in this,” said McGlynn.

Again that approval could come next week to make adolescents as young as 12 eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

President Biden said families would have the option of getting a second dose at a different vaccination site since the timing may happen while kids are away on vacation.

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