FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – In the state of Indiana, ages 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. After Pfizer announced it requested an emergency use authorization for ages 12 and up, this sparked a big conversation on WANE 15’s Facebook page.
WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee visited the southeast side of Fort Wayne and downtown to ask parents how they felt about their child receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
There was a mix response, but overall many are interested in vaccinating their child.
While downtown, the first person to speak with WANE 15 was Ashley Reed. She is a mother who stressed that it should be optional.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to tell me what I’m going to do with my children, I’m going to do what I want to I feel like every parent should have that option,” Reed said. “We haven’t caught COVID yet, we are out and about barely wear mask. I’m not saying it’s not real, because it is, but we’re okay.”
On the southeast side of Fort Wayne, Betty Davis has strong feelings about the vaccine. She told WANE 15 that everyone should be vaccinated to save lives.
” I don’t think there is anything wrong with the kids getting the vaccine. It saves lives,” Davis said. “Mine is 19 and he don’t want to take it, I said ‘if you live in my house you are going to have to take it, because I am taking it to save you you need to take it to save me’.”
Michelle Hamilton, a mother of four children over the age of 12, echoes this.
“We have had the talk and they want it,” Hamilton said. “They were like ‘we don’t want to die’. I mean it sounds harsh but they said they don’t want to do die so they rather get vaccinated.”
Shirley Stevenson is a grandmother of children 12 and over and says that she wants them to be vaccinated, however their parents don’t agree.
“I feel its appropriate for people in that situation to make the decision. I don’t try to impose my decision on anybody and I don’t want anybody imposing theirs on me,” Stevenson said. “I would like to see everybody get vaccinated, but I do understand that children are growing and you don’t know what you are introducing into their bodies and what the ramifications would be. So, I do understand the hesitancy of that.”
Adam Kelly has a daughter who is over the age of 12, he said he is interested in a “tried, tested and true vaccine for children. However, as of now he doesn’t believe children as young as 12 should get the vaccine since it’s currently rated only for people over the age of 16.
“She never really liked needles to begin with, but I know it will bring a certain level of piece of mind for her to be able to go back to regular school and be able to have those social interactions without having to worry about contracting COVID,” Kelly said.
To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 530 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.
Individuals age 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and should search for a site that lists PVAX or ask 211 for a site offering the Pfizer vaccine.