x
Breaking News
More () »

VERIFY: 'Kids don't need the COVID-19 vaccine' | Doctors discuss safety, need of COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents

Pfizer just received emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 shot for kids 12 to 15 years of age. Here's what parents need to know.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pfizer's COVID-19 shot is now cleared for emergency use in kids ages 12 to 15. On Wednesday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, accepted the recommendation of an independent advisory panel to administer the vaccine to adolescents.

Both state health agencies in the Carolinas have already passed along the newly released vaccination guidance to vaccine providers, and many are poised to begin serving the new age group Thursday.

RELATED: Vaccine providers prepare to accept adolescents for COVID-19 shots, following FDA emergency approval

Still, many parents have questions about whether their child should receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and in order to reach an informed decision, doctors say it's important to break through some of the misinformation surrounding the shot.

Claim 1

"Kids don't need the COVID-19 vaccine because they aren't at high risk from the virus."

Response

While it is generally true that younger people are not as at-risk of complications as those from older age groups, the CDC reports that kids can still be hospitalized; some suffer from MIS-C, a dangerous multisystem inflammatory syndrome; and some have died.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, Public Health Director with South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control, said all age groups are needed to bring the pandemic to an end.

"It's important now more than ever that young people get vaccinated to not only protect themselves but also those around them," Traxler said.

Claim 2

"The vaccines were developed too quickly. So, the safety of them is unknown."

Response

Doctors say the COVID-19 vaccines were built on a foundation of years of research and adjusted, as needed, to target the COVID-19 virus.

Dr. Michael Smith, a pediatrician and medical director of the Duke Children's Health Center Infectious Diseases Clinic, said he is confident in the safety. Smith is also a study investigator involved in the pediatric trials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

"The vaccines are safe. I have no doubts about that. I wish my children were old enough to get this vaccine. I would definitely vaccinate them," Smith said.

To contact Vanessa Ruffes, reach out via email, or on her Facebook or Twitter pages.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

    

All Verify pieces we produce locally need to embed the following link to the submission form (use the iFrame embed method): https://interactive.wusa9.com/verify/verify-wcnc.html 

AND please embed the following phrase:

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 202-410-8808 or visit verifythis.com.