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Lowcountry pediatricians encourage patients 12 and up to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT
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BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has now been approved for emergency use in kids 12 and up which means that at your next visit to the pediatrician your doctor maybe ask, “Have you been vaccinated?”

“I think this is really exciting because I think there are a lot of really great reasons for kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” said pediatrician Dr. Alicia Salyer.

Pediatricians in the Lowcountry are excited for the opportunity to get their patients vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for emergency use in anyone over the age of 12. If parents want to get their child vaccinated and have questions, they should reach out to their pediatrician, but if they want to go ahead and set up an appointment, they should do so through the DHEC website and find a Pfizer vaccination location near them.

Doctors say right now the Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the FDA but it is still waiting on a final confirmation from the CDC and the state of South Carolina. Doctors say parents should trust this vaccine because although it was developed quickly, they believe it is safe.

“These vaccines were developed extremely rapidly, but the nice thing to know is that there actually weren’t shortcuts taken. There were a lot of things that came together during the vaccination development process. There was a tremendous amount of money put into the development of these vaccines. There was a lot of public support,” said Dr. Salyer.

Doctors are hoping that by Friday, May 14 everyone 12 and up in South Carolina will be able to get the vaccine.

Parents across the nation are having to make the decision whether they will allow their child to get the Pfizer vaccine now that it has been given emergency use approval for 12 to 15-year-olds.

“I don’t know that I would let my kids get the vaccine. It is just so scary,” parent Brittney Holt said

“I would say yes, I mean we are one of the few people that, he does get the flu shot every year and we both been vaccinated. And he’s currently in school,” parent Nichelle Sims said.

Parents say whether they are for or against giving their child the vaccine at this point, they have questions.

“He’s a heart kiddo. He’s had heart surgery, so we want to make sure it’s safe for him,” parent Brittaney Neighbors said.

Many say they would like to see a bit more research done into the vaccines effect on children

“You know, at this point I think I would wait for a little bit more research to be done on long term effects,” parent Kasey Abercrombie said.

Those that said no say they would like to know about long-term effects.

“What if something happened? I would blame myself. you know?”

“I don’t want to make any decisions that could affect that in the long term for him. So, I would want to stay another year or so of research.”

But those who say yes say protecting their family is the most important thing to them

“Obviously, the reason we are getting it is because to protect him. Because he is very high risk, but just to make sure it’s safe and... no allergies.”

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