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FDA approves teens at the ages of 12-15 to receive the Pfizer vaccine garnering different opinions from parents

One parent explained she was excited, as she has been waiting for her 13-year-old son to get the shot.

YORK, Pa. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved teens at the ages of 12-15 to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA says this will be a step forward to normalcy.

In a statement, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement, "Today's action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19 bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic."

This news has brought excitement to some parents as Gal Witmer told FOX43 she's eager.

“My son's 13 and I saw the headline, and I was already thinking how am I going to get him signed up," Witmer said.

Witmer's son says he's only worried about one thing.

"If it hurts my arm, cause my Dad got it and it hurt his arm," said Benjamin Witmer, 13.

This is one of the many side effects that leave some parents reluctant.

Penn State Health Children's Hospital infectious diseases physician, Dr. Jessica Ericson says she understands why some parents may worry, but these side effects are rare.

"The overall bad things happening from the vaccine are incredibly uncommon, said Dr. Ericson, "it's much more common to have serious complications from COVID-19 infection."

Courtney Watson, a mother of two and teacher at an alternative school is still apprehensive as she says she's seen many 16-year-olds receive the shot and have already experienced side effects.

"My daughter's 16 and I won't let her get it, she said, "today we sent a kid home because he had such a bad headache, he was nauseous and vomiting."

Dr. Ericson says the vaccinating of young teens would be a step forward to herd immunity but it would not make up what is needed to reach it.

"I think it's a step towards herd immunity, 12-15-year-olds don't makeup 50-70% of the population which is what we need to add to that 35% to get to herd immunity," said Dr. Ericson.

Though parents have differing opinions, the Biden Administration is starting its preparations by getting 20,000 vaccine doses ready for shipment to pharmacies and pediatricians. 

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