COVID vaccine: Parents surveyed hesitant about their kids getting it

The CDC has given children ages 12 to 15 the go-ahead to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. But a recent national survey of parents shows only around ⅓ plan to get their child vaccinated right away.

Kirsten O'Quinn's 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter are counting down the hours until they receive their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday night at St. Luke's. 

"They would love to be able to get back to some of those normal life things—getting to hang out with their friends, not have to wear masks everywhere," O'Quinn said.

Kirsten O'Quinn

Kirsten O'Quinn

O'Quinn, a doctor at Full Circle Family Medicine in Germantown, would normally administer the vaccine herself. But she said her office has not ordered any doses since January.

"It’s been really difficult in terms of storage. And some of the handling to get it," O'Quinn said.

Due to dropping demand, O'Quinn said it was not worth the risk of having to throw out wasted doses. Instead, she sent patients seeking out the vaccine to nearby walk-in clinics.

"I’m hoping some of the technology will get a little bit more effective for storage and some of those things," the doctor said.

Still, O'Quinn understands that for many families who are hesitant about the vaccine, they will feel more at ease if they know and trust the person administering it. 

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"For the kiddo who needs a little bit more TLC or needs a familiar face giving that vaccine, I think it will be really nice if we can get that into doctor’s offices too," O'Quinn said.

The doctor is hoping once the FDA grants Pfizer full approval of its vaccine, as opposed to the current emergency use authorizations, the process will become easier. That is because the drugmaker can market its product directly to consumers rather than going through the state. 

"Just like flu shots every year so we can reach everybody a little bit quicker," O'Quinn said.

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