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First Kentuckians 12-15 years old receive COVID vaccine

Published: May. 13, 2021 at 7:01 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Children as young as 12 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Parents and children are already taking advantage of the eligibility in Kentucky and Indiana on the first day the vaccinations are available.

Thousands of children have already registered to get their vaccine at different Norton Healthcare vaccination sites. At the Breckenridge Lane site alone, hundreds came through the door on Thursday, rolled up their sleeves and got their shots.

About 600 received vaccinations across Greater Louisville Thursday, while nearly 3,600 appointments have been scheduled for Thursday and in the future.

Thursday was the first day children ages 12-15 were able to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Kentucky. Even at that age, there’s a lot of excitement and relief.

“It’s just so relieving,” said 7th grader Maggie Young, “because the past year has been so crazy, and it feels great to not have to worry about it as much anymore.”

Young said there were a few reasons she wanted to get vaccinated Thursday. Those reasons are all similar to what others are saying.

8th grader Tatiana Hamilton said she wants her classmates to get vaccinated so she can see them again in school. 14-year-old Sydney Hickman had her own reasons too.

“For my Pawpaw,” Sydney said, “because he’s 90 years old.”

Hickman got the shot with her 15-year-old brother. Together, they got their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine product, the only one approved for their age group. They encouraged their friends to do the same.

”I know they want to go out and have fun with their friends,” Hickman said. “So they do this, and they’re closer to doing it.”

Doctors like what they’re seeing.

“Seeing thousands of kids here, ready to get vaccinated, ready to do their part to fight the pandemic, it makes me elated,” said Dr. Daniel Blatt, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at Norton Children’s Hospital. “I’m so happy to see that. It’s a very safe, very effective vaccine, and it’s something we really need to buy into and be part of.”

Brian Cox, Director of Emergency Procedures at Baptist Health Floyd, said, he’s noticed an increase in appointments since eligibility expanded.

“Mostly, the parents are leaving it up to the kids and answering their questions, but we’ve had a number of parents say they aren’t pushing their kids to get vaccinated. They are saying, if you want to get it, I’ll support you if you do.”

To sign a child up through Norton Children’s Hospital, click here.

People can show up to the Baptist Health Floyd vaccine site without scheduling ahead.

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