‘You do what you can do to protect everybody’: Parents explain decision to vaccinate their kids


FORT WAYNE, (Ind.) — Hoosiers 12 and up are now eligible to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the New York Times, Indiana is currently ranked No. 46 in the nation for those whose residents have received at least one dosage of the coronavirus vaccine. The state is 45th for fully vaccinated residents. The study includes states, territories, federal agencies and three countries that have special agreements with the United States.

More than 2.2 million Hoosiers are fully vaccinated, according to the state Department of Health.

Now that the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer shot for children as young as 12, WANE 15 wanted to know what parents in our area planned to do.

We posted this our Facebook page:

One viewer commented: “No thank you for my kids and myself. All 4 of us has already had COVID so no reason to get the shot.”

Many said they were excited to get the vaccine, though.

Brandon Hall is a father of four, and two of his children are now eligible for the vaccine. He has a 15-year-old and 12-year-old who will soon schedule their vaccine appointment.

He told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that his family has been careful throughout the pandemic, which was a way for them to show love for their neighbor. He said getting vaccinated was their way of doing their part to help the world get back to normal.

“It will help slow the spread of the virus, get things a little back to normal,” said Hall. “It will also help them get back to normal at school, maybe they won’t have to wear masks in the fall, maybe they will be able to have more activities and more field trips can be taken.”

Hall’s 12-year-old daughter, Makenna, said she was both nervous and excited to get her shots.

“I hope once people get their vaccine we can go back to school and not have to wear masks,” said Makenna. “It was weird because we are a hybrid, where we are on zoom and in person. It’s just a lot different, it’s hard to contact my teachers if I needed them.”

The pandemic hit the family closed to home after Hall’s father-in-law tested positive for the virus and was in the hospital on a ventilator.

“He came close to not making it,” Hall said. “Thankfully he is safe now but just having that experience of watching family members suffer and people that we know just felt like this is the best thing to do to keep ourselves safe and to help our neighbors and our community.”

Tammy Collier is a mother of three. Her 13-year-old and 15-year-old both attend schools in northwest Allen County. She said she felt it was a gamble to send them to school with only a mask as protection, but now that their appointments are booked, she is more comfortable.

Collier said they also decided to get vaccinated to protect elderly family members.

“Their grandmother has no spleen so she has no immunities and they know they need to protect her,” said Collier. “My parents are older, and they haven’t seen them in a year-and-a-half. That’s really hard, so you do what you can do to protect everybody.”

Have you made a decision on whether or not to vaccinate your children? Head to our Facebook page to comment.

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