SOUTH MIDDLETON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — 750,000 more Pennsylvanians are now eligible to get a COVID vaccine.
That’s because the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is now approved for those as young as 12.
Scientists say the clinical trial results of the Pfizer COVID vaccine in kids 12 to 15 are in a word, remarkable.
“In the vaccinated children, it was 100% effective. There were no cases of COVID,” said Dr. Cynthia DeMuth, chair of pediatrics with UPMC Pinnacle. “In the children who received the placebo, or the saline injections, there were 16 cases.”
Now kids including 13-year-old Anthony Clarke are excited to get their two shots.
“Just so I could go to big crowds and you could do events again,” Clarke said.
Clarke actually had COVID, along with his whole family last year.
“My kids were beyond sick. They couldn’t move out of their bed for a good week or so. They had every symptom,” said mom Lisa Clarke.
Lisa knows first hand the side effects of the vaccine are nothing compared to getting COVID.
“I think we all just want to kind of put everything behind us, never have to worry about it again, never have to worry about giving it to anyone else again,” Lisa Clarke said.
The Cumberland County community vaccination site already has 130 kids signed up for Friday’s clinic.
“The more people that get vaccinated, the less the risk of the spread of COVID is, so it’s very important and hopefully we can still see a lot of patients who are in the age range of 12 to 15 come out and get vaccinated,” said Michael Lehr, director of pharmacy for Quality Care Pharmacy.
Lehr says it will be just as smooth a process for teens as it is for the adults.
“We do have a lot of school nurses that help us vaccinate so it should be really comforting to the kids that are coming in to get vaccinated that they have somebody here that may look familiar,” Lehr said.
“Hopefully If they get their first dose soon, the teens will be able to get their second dose before summer activities really come into play,” DeMuth said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics just announced Wednesday it supports new guidance from the CDC that kids can be administered the COVID vaccine at the same time as other routine vaccines.
“We’re all very pleased and hopeful that parents will take their children to be vaccinated,” DeMuth said.