Parents react to Pfizer vaccine approval for young teens


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Some parents are leaving the final say up to their children as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approves the Pfizer vaccine for younger teens.

More than 2,000 US teens between the ages of 12 and 15 participated in trials for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, and after being fully vaccinated none of those volunteers tested positive for the coronavirus. Younger teens received the same dose as adults and saw many of the same side effects.

Hoosier children will be eligible to get vaccinated starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday. WANE 15 spoke to parents of teens who fall in the new age bracket who said when it comes to whether their children get the shot, they wanted their kids to have a say in the decision.

“At almost 14, most children don’t have a say in much we do kind of take over, and for their own benefits, we usually do take over and make the decisions,” said Kim Yency, a mother to two high school freshmen. “I felt it was important for them to do their own research and decide because it is so new. And we really don’t know much about it. I really wanted them to feel safe and comfortable and not like I was forcing them to put something into their system.”

Yency said her son has asthma and so he wanted to get the shot so that he would feel more comfortable returning to school in the fall. His twin sister, however, has chosen not to get the vaccine at this time until it has been out longer and more is known about it.

Sarah MacDonald is choosing a similar path in letting her teenage daughter decide if she gets the vaccine or not.

“A couple of my daughter’s friends at school have said, well, their parents aren’t getting the vaccine, and they’re not sure if the parents are going to let them get the vaccine, and they’re frustrated,” MacDonald said. “As high school students, they’re involved in activities. My daughter’s part of marching band and winter guard. And when you see the restrictions, they’ve had to put on most kids, the idea of the vaccine, possibly opening up more of their activities is a huge one for these kids. Plus just being able to work on group projects easier being able to do things together easier.”

MacDonald also has a son who is 10-years-old, and while he is too young to get the vaccine right now, she said he has already expressed interest in getting it when he can and they plan on letting him have the final decision as well.

So far, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one that has been approved for people younger than 18-years-old, although Moderna is currently in the trial phase.

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