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Cincinnati health officials urge children 12-15 to get vaccine

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 9:36 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Officials from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center urged parents of children ages 12-15 to get their kids vaccinated during a Tuesday morning press conference.

Monday, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 12-15-year-olds.

The vaccine is being evaluated at Cincinnati Children’s as part of a clinical trial involving that age group that began last year.

Dr. Patty Manning, Chief of Staff at Cincinnati Children’s, gave three reasons to get children vaccinated.

One is to get things back to normal, two that is the natural next step as the world has been waiting for the vaccine, and three that it protects society at large and people who are at a higher risk.

Robert Frenck, MD, director of the Gamble Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s, said it is natural for parents to be anxious about giving their children the vaccine.

“I think it’s appropriate and reasonable for parents to ask questions,” Frenck said.

Amy Martin is a mother of two teens. She says she is thrilled as are her kids with the latest news.

“I have two teenagers, I have a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old, and they are really excited about getting vaccinated,” Martin said.

However, both officials urged everyone to get the vaccine when it is approved for their age group.

Frenck says the study was planned to look at the immune response of teenagers.

Cincinnati Children’s began vaccine clinical trials with children ages 12 to 15 last year.

About 350 children between the ages of 2 and 17 are participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials at the hospital.

Including adults, more than 1,400 individuals are participating in one of the clinical trials at Cincinnati Children’s, which involves several different vaccines.

The problems that arise with COVID and teens, according to Frenck, are that they don’t get sick, so they do not know they have COVID and unknowingly spread it to others.

Frenck and Manning say they are confident teens could start receiving the vaccine as soon as Thursday.

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