Local medical experts weigh in on push to vaccinate all age groups


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Doctors are optimistic about moving down the line to younger age groups as we continue the vaccine rollout. Currently, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is approved for ages 12 and up.

“As we think about this pandemic and the devastation that it’s caused world wide we want to get to as close to maximum heard immunity as we can. We know that the younger the children are the asymptomatic spread is more prevalent,” said Dr. Marc Belcastro, chief medical officer at Premier Health.

Belcastro says vaccinating all age groups is important, because even if children aren’t experiencing COVID-19 symptoms like adults, for those who do get it, the vaccine is helpful in protecting others.

However, not all parents are sold on the vaccine. “There’s just not enough studies. It was rushed into production, and I don’t want me and my family to be guinea pigs basically,” said mom of three Christina Reilly.

Reilly’s oldest is 11, and she says the family hasn’t ruled out the vaccine, but waiting a little longer. “We are pro vaccine in our house. I am open to it if it shows that it has at least a 75 to 80 percent success rate in keeping COVID away, and there are more long term studies done with it.”

Belcastro disagrees, and ensures COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective now. “Those with the most knowledge of vaccine side effects are getting vaccinated. Why wouldn’t we trust the expert?”

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