‘I want to protect them’: Utahns happy about vaccine approval for 12 to 15-year-olds

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could be available to children 12 to 15 years old by the end of this week.

The FDA has officially authorized it for emergency Monday.

This decision allows for more Utahns to get vaccinated and get the country closer to herd immunity.

Doctors tell ABC4 this is a great step forward in the fight against COVID-19.

Children under 18 make up about 20% of the US population but, here in Utah, it’s around 30%.

Dr. Andy Pavia with Intermountain Healthcare said this could mark a turning point in getting the state’s infection numbers down. 

More than 200,000 kids are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“By being able to vaccinate our teenagers with what has proven to be a really safe and effective vaccine we can protect them from getting sick with COVID,” says Pavia. “We can let them really accelerate their return to a normal life.”

Local doctors and pediatricians agreed teenagers play a vital role in transmission.

Pavia says the COVID-19 vaccine might be available as soon as this weekend.

He added with this age group already needing a few other vaccines, pharmacies and pediatricians should offer the COVID-19 shot soon.

“My advice would be to get your kids vaccinated soon so they can have a normal summer and participate in a lot of activities,” says Pavia.

Twenty-year-old Cole Powell says he would do anything to protect his future kids including getting them vaccinated.

“Even though I don’t have kids, the thought of losing them to something that is preventable is just I want to protect them from anything I could,” says Powell.

Community members say they’re happy the FDA was able to approve this before the school year starts.

“If we can all get back into the normal swing of things and live our lives again, I’d say that is a good cost to pay,” says Powell.

Ashlie Bernhisel and her fiance have an infant and said as soon as they can, they will get them vaccinated.

Bernhisel says this is another step in the right direction in the fight against COVID-19.

“I think they can understand just as well as adults our lives have changed and they probably want to have some normalcy as much,” says Bernhisel.

Pavia says that by June, the vaccine will be available in more convenient and comfortable places like your family doctor’s office. 

Studies conducted by Pfizer show the vaccine is not only safe for teens – but nearly eliminates all risk of catching the virus.

Pfizer did note that some children have similar reactions to adults from the second shot including fever, chills, and aches

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah Coronavirus

More Coronavirus Updates

IN FOCUS

More In Focus

Justice Files

More Justice Files