Kansas City,
10:26 AM

Kansas City Star: Younger kids can now get COVID vaccine. Will too few Kansas City parents let them?

By Lisa Gutierrez

Now that children ages 12 to 15 have the green light to get COVID-19 shots, parents like Heather Ousley just have one question.

When can they get it for their kids?

“As soon as one is available we’re going to pop in,” said Ousley, who has two children eligible now for the vaccine. “In my dream world we’re able to get in on Saturday and celebrate with doughnuts and ice cream.”

But Ousley is in the minority. Just 3 in 10 parents of children in that age group in the U.S. say they will get their child vaccinated as soon as possible, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last month. And nearly a quarter said they will definitely not get their child vaccinated.

In the Kansas City area, health experts blame misinformation on social media. And they say emotions can cloud decisions that should be based on science and informed advice.

On Wednesday, an independent advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended giving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 12- to 15-year-olds, advice the CDC formally adopted later in the day.

And on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration extended its emergency use authorization for the vaccine to be given to that age group, deeming it safe and effective.

“I think there’s a variation of response around COVID vaccination in general, but especially when it comes to children and parents thinking about the safety of their children,” said Dr. Bridgette Jones, pediatrician at Children’s Mercy and associate professor, department of pediatrics at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.

“I think there are definitely people out there that are very, very eager for their children to receive the vaccine as soon as possible because they know this is the best way to protect their child and their family and honestly for our entire community to protect everyone.

“I think there are people out there that also still have questions, and I think that’s understandable.”

She advises parents to have conversations with their health care providers.


Read the full story via The Kansas City Star

Learn the latest information about COVID-19 vaccine at Children's Mercy