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Preregistration opens for children 12 to 15 to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Parents and guardians can preregister for children ages 12 to 15 to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Norton Children’s opened the preregistration Friday for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Currently, people ages 16 and up can receive the vaccine.

The FDA is reviewing the vaccine for possible emergency use for children 12 to 15.

A clinical trial of 2,260 children ages 12 to 15 found none of the 1,131 who received the vaccine were diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Norton Children’s. Eighteen who received placebo shots did get the virus.

“The study results are promising, and we hope to see this younger age group eligible for the vaccine,” Kristina A. Bryant, M.D., Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, said. “Not only does it bring us another step closer to getting back to normal life, but this vaccine has been shown to be very safe for people ages 16 and up. The ability to vaccinate all teenagers in our community would be a huge step forward.”

For Jennifer Reese, a mother of seven, the decision to give her children the COVID-19 vaccine is a no-brainer after watching her son’s health deteriorate post-virus. Her seven-year-old Christopher contracted the coronavirus from a sibling and showed no symptoms.

A couple of months later though, he came down with something much worse: multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). It’s a serious illness that causes inflammation in different organs, including the heart and brain; according to doctors, MIS-C is directly related to COVID-19.

Reese told WAVE 3 News the illness has taken a toll on the once active Christopher.

“Five months later, he still doesn’t jump on his trampoline, he still doesn’t have the energy he did,” Reese said. “That’s hard to have this little kid that was so healthy, had probably only been sick three times in his life, he was so active, now just sit around. He’s changed a lot and some of it is positive, but I hate that it’s because of an illness.”

While Christopher won’t make the 12 to 15 age bracket, two of Reese’s other children have plans to get the vaccine as soon as that age range is approved by the FDA.

“I have two children who are within that 12 to 15 year age group, and they want their life back, they want to be able to go places, they want to be able to do things,” Reese said. “I want them protected so that they don’t risk spreading this to somebody else and getting some other little kid sick the way Topher was.”

According to Norton Children’s, common side effects seen in people 16 to 25 include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever and swelling, and or redness at the injection site.

Norton plans to have vaccine clinics for children throughout the area, including its current West Broadway, St. Matthews, and Dixie Highway clinic locations.

To preregister, click here.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.