GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The state is taking another step forward to reach herd immunity, thanks to a decision made by the CDC. As Kris Schuller reports children 12 and up can now receive the Pfizer vaccine and hopefully get back to a normal life.
At Aurora BayCare Medical Center, two 13-year-old siblings get their first doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
“It was better than a flu shot, it did not honestly hurt at all. I barely even felt it. I would totally recommend it,” said Ian Johnson.
“It’s going to be exciting to get back to normal life before the pandemic hit,” said Jordan Johnson.
They are among some 300,000 children in Wisconsin between the ages of 12 and 15 now eligible to be vaccinated after the CDC gave the go ahead for the vaccines use Wednesday.
“Fourteen yes, one recusal, the motion passes,” said the CDC board chair.
“We started getting phone calls the moment the CDC announced they were going to approve it, trying to ask how to go about scheduling,” said Dr. Donald Beno, a pediatrician with Aurora BayCare.
Dr. Beno says clinical trials have found the Pfizer vaccine is very safe and extremely effective in kids 12 and up.
“The protection was significantly better in children than adults. Their immune systems respond very well to vaccines, and they show great potential for long-term immunity,” said Beno.
And he says while most children with Covid-19 have mild or no symptoms, some do get severely ill and require hospitalization.
“In my practice I have a nine-year-old who had the multisystem inflammatory illness that damaged her heart which will be lifelong. She might eventually need a heart transplant to treat it,” Beno said.
Another reason DHS is urging all who are eligible to get vaccinated – a request this family was eager to fulfill.
“We wanted to get back to normal life, we want them to get back to school, get back to sports, see their friends and this is the best way to do that for us,” said Anne Johnson, Ian and Jordan’s Mom.
“It’s better than getting Covid and the positives outweigh all the negatives to me,” Ian said.
Beno hopes by the fall even more people will be eligible. He says studies looking at children ages six month and up are underway and so far, results look promising.
CDC approval opens up vaccination now to roughly 17 million adolescents in the U.S.