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Norton prepares to administer COVID-19 vaccines to kids 12 and up

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:04 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advisory committee has decided the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine should be given to adolescents.

The independent group of experts unanimously voted to recommend the two-dose vaccine be used in children ages 12 to 15. The final vote was 14-0 in favor of the recommendation, with one recusal.

The virtual meeting was held just two days after the FDA authorized it to be used in that age group after data showed it was 100% effective.

During the meeting, CDC officials said the coronavirus vaccine can be administered on the same day as other vaccines. However, some of the committee members were reluctant to advise this because it has not yet been studied.

While CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky must now sign off on the recommendations, a couple of states have already started putting shots into arms.

Norton Medical Group’s vice president of operations told WAVE 3 News they are ready to vaccinate the latest age group as soon as Thursday.

“We do require anyone 12-17 to have a parent or legal guardian with them for the date of their appointment,” Johnson said. “They’ll come in and get registered and immediately go to one of our vaccine stations. Have their shot and wait for 15 minutes.”

Norton will be vaccinating kids 12 and up at any of their vaccination sites. Around 3,000 12 to 15-year-olds are already pre-registered with Norton Children’s Hospital to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

“I definitely think parents are talking about it,” Louisville mother Shannon Benovitz said.

Benovitz and her husband are vaccinated. They have two children, a seven-year-old and a four-year-old.

“My little one is always asking, ‘When is coronavirus going to be over?’” Benovitz said. “I always say, ‘I wish I had that answer for you, sweetie.’”

Benovitz said she believes one way to stop COVID is through the vaccine and she’s onboard to vaccinate her children.

“We have to trust the professionals at the CDC [and] trust the guidance from our pediatricians,” Benovitz said.

What we know now, is that the same vaccine given to adults will be given to people 12 and up, though what the vaccine will be like for younger children is something still in the works.

Dr. Sarah Moyer from the Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness said doctors are anticipating an adjustment for children younger than 12.

“Pharmaceutical companies are testing different doses and different age groups to see what the least amount of they can give kids and still have a great immune response,” Moyer said. “That’s going to take longer. We think that will come up in September.”

Norton Children’s Hospital is hosting a Facebook Live to address parent concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s going to be on Thursday, May 13 at noon.

To register a 12 to 15-year-old for the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

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