Mixed vaccine demand for younger children

The FDA is expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine for chidden as young as 12 next week.
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - The FDA is expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine for chidden as young as 12 next week.

Now, health departments across Upper Michigan are experiencing different demand from that age group.

“We’re not going to get ourselves out of this without the majority of people getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Bob Lorinser, Marquette County Health Department Medical Director.

Lorinser said all Marquette County schools sent out a survey to parents asking if they would be interested in getting their child vaccinated. So far, only 10 percent have said yes.

“What do you say? Well 10 percent is better than five percent , but 10 percent is not 70 percent,” said Lorinser.

East of Marquette, the LMAS District Health Department has seen a larger interest through a survey on its website.

“We are at about 60 percent right now who said yes and I was surprised at the results, but I am glad to see it,” said Kerry Ott, LMAS District Health Department Public Information Officer.

The anticipated approval for younger children comes after a study with 2,200 12- to -15-year-olds showed the Pfizer vaccine is 100 percent effective.

“The COVID vaccine has, probably, more studies on the safety than most vaccines,” said Lorinser.

Now health departments are considering where to give the vaccine to a younger age group. Most say they are considering mass vaccination clinics, smaller clinics or going to schools.

“If there is enough volume we will go to the schools. If there is tons of volume we will set up another mass vaccination (clinic) for younger adults,” said Lorinser.

Health departments say there are benefits to younger people getting the vaccine.

“It helps their children not have to quarantine if they’re a contact because once you are fully vaccinated two weeks after that last dose you don’t have to quarantine,” said Ott.

Health departments across the U.P. say parents will have to give permission for anyone under 18 to get vaccinated.

Whether that consent can be given in writing or has to be in-person is still being decided at many health departments.

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