Local doctors discuss Pfizer vaccine eligibility for children 12 and up

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV)— Parents can now breathe a sigh of relief as children 12 years old and older can now be vaccinated with the Pfizer shot.

“Up to this point we’ve been only able to vaccinate with Pfizer was eligible for 16 and 17 year olds. So they came out with that a few weeks ago,” Dr. Jodi Lenko, vice chair of the Department of Medicine at Lehigh Valley Health Network Hazleton, said.

It’s one important step towards herd immunity against COVID-19.

“You hear the numbers of 80% of the population being immune to COVID. That includes kids. So that’s what we’re going towards is 80% of our entire population, not just the adult population,” Dr. Lenko said.

The new guideline is especially welcome after the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office confirmed that a 7-year-old died from the virus last week.

“We know that children can get COVID. It’s not as likely it’s not as common, but they can become infected, we’ve seen that. And they are less likely to die from COVID than older adults, but it can happen,” Dr. Lenko said.

Dr. Lenko says her children are not yet at the age to get vaccinated, but the younger eligibility is needed.

“We’ll see as it continues what research comes out and what becomes available, but it just exciting that the more poeple that we can vaccinated the better,” Dr. Lenko said.

Lehigh Valley Health Network will begin administering vaccines for children 12 and up starting Thursday.

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