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'Kids are ready to do it': Parents react to COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for young teens

John Couture
Posted at 9:35 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 23:15:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Just as the Bier Station in Waldo held its last COVID-19 vaccine clinic – where more than 1,000 doses have been administered – a whole new age group can now receive the shot, including the owner's children.

"Kids are ready to do it, and they're ready to do their part," John Couture, owner and operator of Bier Station, said. "It seems like all the trials have been very safe."

Couture's 12- and 14-year-old daughters are among 17 million adolescents eligible to get inoculated.

"They're ready to line up and get started and hopefully, you know, it'll help us as a family, hopefully travel with a little bit more confidence this summer," Couture said.

That has some health providers like the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center looking to secure doses of the Pfizer vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Food and Drug Administration's decision to expand the company's emergency use authorization for children 12 to 15 years old.

"It's a matter of us, essentially, requesting the vaccine," Daniel Gillen, director of clinical operations at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, said. "The quantity is quite large, so we have to make sure that we can get rid of it in a reasonable amount of time."

A new Kaiser Family Foundation study found that: "30% say they’ll get their child vaccinated right away, 26% will wait to see how it’s working, 18% will vaccinate only if their child’s school requires it and 23% say they will definitely not get their child vaccinated."

Gillen said as much of the population as possible needs to be vaccinated, including children, "before any kind of herd immunity is going to be achieved."

Couture already has received a notice from his daughters' pediatrician about vaccine appointments and hopes to schedule them within the next week.

"Everything we've read, it's been done appropriately," he said, "and we feel confident that it's the right move to help everybody get beyond COVID."