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Local doctors discuss vaccine safety, efficacy for the 12-15 age group

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 9:36 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - According to officials with Hy-Vee, children 12 to 15 years old could get vaccinated as early as Thursday. This all depends on if the CDC approves it for this age group on Wednesday.

This age group will not have to make an appointment for a vaccine but will need a parent or guardian to sign off on it.

Local doctors and pediatricians have had families asking about the vaccine since the vaccine rollout began.

Lincoln pediatrician, Dr. Phil Boucher, said, “There’s often a question of is this a safe vaccine?

But, now, they’re answering questions about their kids getting one.

Dr. Boucher said, “We know that is vaccine helps prevent coronavirus. it appears to be safe and have the same safety profile as it does in adults.”

A recent study where 1,005 kids got the actual shot showed no one getting sick.

As more children get the vaccine, they expect effectiveness to stay right around 95%; the same as adults.

CHI Health chief of infectious disease, Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan said, “As an infectious disease expert; as a mom, it’s really important to get our young kids vaccinated to keep the infection, prevent them from getting the infection and also prevent them from passing it to others.”

Doctors said kids tell them they’re excited about the possibility of getting the vaccine because it means they’re getting closer to normalcy.

“We could get enough kids 12 to 18 years old vaccinated such that we don’t need masks this fall and that’s my hope,” OneHealth Nebraska chief medical officer Dr. Bob Rauner said. “That’s going to take making it a priority to get all of those kids vaccinated over the next three months.”

Health experts with CHI Health said they’re expecting a higher vaccine rate for 12 to 15-year-olds. It’ll just depend on making sure parents are getting their children the vaccine.

Dr. Vivekanandan said, “In order for us to protect each other, it can’t just be the older people in the community getting vaccinated, all of us have to.”

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