FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The CDC is officially recommending Pfizer shots for children 12-15.
This comes after the FDA authorized it for emergency use Monday, May 10th and Governor Asa Hutchinson opened up eligibility to the age group Tuesday, May 11th.
State epidemiologist, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said the COVID-19 vaccine is crucial for this age group of 12-15 year olds, but, there are still concerns about being able to reach enough of them.
We are concerned about the hesitancy in Arkansas.”-DR. JENNIFER DILLAHA, STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
“We also know that the young people- adolescents and younger children, as well- are very efficient spreaders of respiratory viruses,” Dillaha said.
The more kids in that age group vaccinated, the better.”-DR. JENNIFER DILLAHA, STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Pharmacist Julie Stewart at Medical Arts Pharmacy said she is seeing a positive response as she starts scheduling appointments for these younger kids, but, that may not be the case for long.
“We feel like this push is probably going to last about a week,” Stewart said.
We’re going to have a lot of response at the end of this week, obviously, but I do feel like after that it is gonna fall off.”-JULIE STEWART, PHARMACIST, MEDICAL ARTS PHARMACY
Both Dillaha and Stewart encourage you to talk to your kids doctor and consider the effectiveness of the vaccine so far.
“We’ve vaccinated enough adults, and 16 and up, that we feel like what we’ve seen and how many we’ve vaccinated is it is very safe,” Stewart said. “I feel very comfortable vaccinating my 14 year-old.”
Dillaha said to also consider the important timing of these shots.
“This summer time would be a good time for kids to get vaccinated so that they have the immunity on board before they go back to school in the fall,” she said.
Dillaha also noted it is crucial to get vaccinated before participating in summer camps and sports.
“Those are situations where, if the virus is present, it will find a way to spread.”
In Governor Hutchinson’s press conference Tuesday, May 11th, the Director of Vaccine Efforts, Col. Robert Ator, said Pfizer vaccines will be available to all children 12-15 throughout every county across the state in 375 locations.