Vaccine eligibility expanded to teenagers

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The FDA authorized 12 to 15 year-olds for the Pfizer vaccine. Medical professionals want kids to get it as soon as possible.

“We need to vaccinate as many people as you can to achieve herd immunity and yes, I mean, once if you vaccinate your kid, the chances of having a normal school year increase exponentially when the adequate number of kids are vaccinated,” Dr. Gurpreet Mander with HSHS St. John’s Hospital said.

The state is taking extra steps to help ensure that happens. With vaccine hesitancy keeping people from getting their shots, the state is sending vaccines to primary care doctors, including pediatricians.

“We hope that 12 to 15 year-olds will, in the course of just getting a regular checkup will be able to go in the next few weeks or over the summer to get that vaccination,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said.

Dr. Mander says putting the shot in the hands of a families most trusted doctors will allow people to have a much more in depth conversation with experts about it.

“You have the strongest relationship with his with your doctor. And i think and then they’re the ones who are trusted the most. So having the if they are given the opportunity to have the discussion with your doctor, you know, and i think that is the best area for people to have that conversation,” Dr. Mander said.

The CDC officially meets tomorrow to decide whether or not to give the go ahead on giving 12 to 15 year-olds the vaccine. Dr. Mander expects them to approve it quickly, which will give hospitals the green light to start giving the vaccine.

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