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Pa. doctors say vaccine interest is increasing among teens as kids head back to school

After a slight dip in vaccines among 12 to 17-year-olds, interest is picking back up again as COVID-19 cases increase ahead of the new school year.
Credit: WPMT

YORK, Pa. — Appointments for COVID-19 vaccine appointments were hard to come by when the FDA gave emergency use authorization for the 12-17 age group earlier this year, then demand waned a bit over the summer.

Now that COVID-19 cases are increasing again and kids going back to school, vaccine interest is increasing too.

"This is the time children are coming to our practices for those school physicals, annual checkups and that's a great time for them to talk to their provider about getting a vaccination," said Dr. Christopher Russo, the Director of Pediatrics for Wellspan health.

Dr. Russo says there is a slight increase of 12 to 17-year-olds getting the vaccine now. He expects that to continue to increase in the days and weeks before kids are back in the classroom.

He said vaccines for teenagers, including the COVID-19 shot, can now be done at a regular check-up.

"It used to be thought that there needed to be a waiting time between vaccines but after more study, the CDC has recommended that there be no waiting time between vaccinations," said the doctor.

There are plenty of appointments for those who are eligible.

While there has been a lot of talk about vaccinating kids younger than 12, it's still unclear when it will be their turn. 

Dr. Russo said, "When that happens, we've already begun the preparations for that to be able to give vaccines to that population as soon as it becomes available."

Dr. Russo says some school districts have reached out to Wellspan to start some vaccine clinics for students, although nothing is set in stone just yet.

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