NewsLocal News


12-15 year olds now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 5:25 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 18:25:09-04

BELL COUNTY, TEXAS — The race to vaccinate continues on Monday as the FDA approved children ages 12 to 15 can receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the youngest group yet.

This news, many teachers believe, is a step in the right direction after a hard year for both educators and students.

“I think that they're just ready to move forward and get back into doing these things,” Charlotte Heinz, a 9th-12th grade teacher at Copperas Cove ISD said. “I think that they're very receptive to the shot, I think that they're ready and I think that they're ready to get back to life.”

Health professionals like Amy Mersiovsky, the director of nursing at Texas A&M Central Texas, believe this expansion will lead us back to a normal classroom setting a bit quicker than without the age group able to get a shot.

“We do know that we have had some kids get really sick,” Mersiovsky explained. “We know that whether they're symptomatic or not, they can still spread the virus to those who are more at risk from catching the virus.”

Before becoming a professor, Dr. Mersiovsky was a pediatric nurse for 23 years.

She explained that children and young teens are usually open to receiving vaccines once they know enough information about them.

“They want to help everybody, and they really are caring,” she said. “I really, really think that the kids, given truthful information, will want to help keep everybody safe.”

She said reaching herd immunity is vital and now that about 87% of the county is eligible for the vaccine, we’re closer than ever.

“There's really not a lot of places for that virus to go so it can't cause as much trouble,” she said “So us getting closer and closer to that number is going to get us back to normal.”

Which sounds like good news to Mrs. Heinz, because she explained that this school year was challenging.

“If we were to go to war, just being armed, being prepared to protect ourselves and to defend ourselves in any way possible, I just think it's important,” she said.

Dr. Mersiovsky said while Pfizer may be the first vaccine to get approval for the younger folks, Moderna is trailing behind it because the company has started doing research as well.

When asked about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, she was unsure due to the ongoing research involving the blood clots found in women across the United States.