Miami Valley residents, parents react to Pfizer vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The FDA granted Pfizer emergency use its vaccine on 12- to 15-year-old children. Pfizer is still the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in 16- to 18-year-olds.

2 NEWS talked with parents who will vaccinate their teens and others who won’t. However both sides agree, the state has to reach herd immunity one way or another to beat the pandemic.

“When the herd immunity kicks in, then we have enough people so that just being out in public isn’t a public health risk,” said Brian Culliton, a resident of the Miami Valley.

Some residents believe having 12- to 15-year-olds vaccinated means Ohio will be well on its way to reaching herd immunity. Right now, the coronavirus dashboard states nearly 42 percent of eligible Ohioans have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Parents and residents say they are trusting public health leaders to navigate their way out of the pandemic.

“I’m not a doctor, I don’t know what the science says about that particular age group but if the doctors think it’s a good idea then we should do it,” said Gary Emond, a resident of the Miami Valley.

Some residents hope that by vaccinating teens Ohio won’t just curb the spread of COVID-19, but fast track the state back to pre-pandemic norms.

“It’s so frustrating walking outside with a mask on, not being able to get together with groups of people, not having a high school party or prom because people aren’t feeling safe,” said Culliton. “Vaccinating younger kids is going to be a huge step forward for everybody and the economy.”

However, at the end of the day the decision is ultimately their own.

“If the parents don’t want to have their kids vaccinated you have to respect their wishes as well,” said Mike Booke, a resident of the Miami Valley.

Governor Mike DeWine released a statement today:

“I am encouraged that the FDA has already updated Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization to include youth ages 12-15. Following a recommendation, as soon as Wednesday, from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the CDC, Ohio will immediately expand vaccine eligibility to youth ages 12-15 and provide appropriate guidance for parents, guardians, and vaccine providers across the state. Vaccinations are our way back to a more normal life.”

Governor Mike DeWine

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