FDA approves vaccinations for children 12-15

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The FDA recently approved Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children aged 12-15. But not all parents are anxious to get their children vaccinated. We talked about it with Dr. Swapna Reddy of Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions.

“A significant portion of folks are just resistant, and then we’ll only do it if they have to. About 30%, one in three said that they’re willing to get it as soon as it’s available. You know about 25% saying they’ll wait and see. So really what what we need to work on here, now that the vaccine is readily available, is really getting it into forums…to overcome many of these kinds of fears, and in many cases misinformation that parents are operating under,” Reddy said.

Some parents are hesitant to get their children vaccinated even though it is available to them. Reddy emphasizes the importance that, “we need to make sure that there’s access especially in low income communities rural communities and communities of color.”

What will reduce the hesitance?

“What we’re hoping is that as we see more children getting vaccinated, as parents start hearing, not just from pediatricians and scientists and public health experts, but from people in their community and from other parents that their kids are getting vaccinated, they didn’t really have much of a negative response, and hear all the things that they’re going to start to do now that they’re vaccinated, hoping that that’s going to have a really important impact on parents decisions,” Reddy said.

Reddy mentions, “this is an important step towards herd immunity” but from a, “personal level, it helps kids get back into school and are in a much more normal fashion as fall is going to come upon us very quickly. Summer camps, summer programs, sports, parties, hanging out with friends, all the things that a lot of the kids in this age group have really missed out on and in the last year. So whatever the motivation is, I think what we really need to see is a lot more sort of positive imaging, positive messaging, because we, there’s a really strong misinformation credit that’s happening.”

Swapna Reddy, Assistant Professor at ASU's College of Health Solutions

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