Charlotte Area Hospital Systems Prepare To Vaccinate Children Ages 12-15

CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte area health care providers are preparing to vaccinate children as young as 12 years old. The CDC is expected to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 12 to 15 Wednesday morning.

“We have known this was coming and so we’ve been putting plans in place this whole time,” said Dr. Lyn Nuse with Atrium Health.

Nuse says while the vaccines are new, the technology to create them has been around for more than a decade. She says parents should weigh the risks vs reward.

“The vaccine is actually safer for children to  experience than the potential risk of getting the infection,” said Dr. Nuse.

Dr. Nuse encourages all parents to take advantage of the opportunity to vaccinate their children, making it difficult for Covid to spread.

“We hear a lot about how children aren’t as affected by covid doesn’t mean that they’re absolutely not affected,” explained Dr. Nuse.

“Anything we can do to reduce disease incidence and disease transmission in kids to get society back open to the way it was pre-pandemic, I think is useful,” said Dr. Michael Smith of Duke Medical Center.

Dr. Smith worked on the Pfizer vaccine trials.

“If you got the vaccine in this trial, you did not get Covid. That translates to a vaccine that has 100% efficacy,” said Dr. Smith.

He says children 12 to 15 will get the same dose as adults. And that the side effects are proving to be about the same. Soreness and redness at the infection site, with rare instances of fever and nausea.

“But at this point there is no reason to not give the vaccine to someone even if they’re on the smaller side,” said Dr. Smith.

As of Tuesday morning, 40.2% of people in North Carolina have had at least one dose, while 35.3% of the population has been fully vaccinated.