Kids in the Triad get vaccinated after federal vaccine advisory committee approves shots

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s official: on Wednesday afternoon, a federal vaccine advisory committee decided to advise that children ages 12-15 years old should get the Pfizer shot.

Those vaccination efforts are already underway in the Triad.

At Novant Health’s vaccination clinic at Hanes Mall, there were a group of eight kids ready to go.

It was a shot in the arm that those middle and high schoolers were all too ready to get.

“I might be with my grandparents a little more because they got their shot too,” 14-year-old Hannah Bodender said.

Some of the Triad’s next generation finally got their chance to be protected against the coronavirus.

“I want to be put towards like more people getting the vaccine and stopping the spread of the pandemic, so we can get out of it as soon as possible,” Hannah said.

Families traveled from across the Triad to the Novant Vaccination Clinic at Hanes Mall, just hours after the CDC signed off on the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15-year-olds.

“We came here today to get my 12-year-old son, Zachary, vaccinated,” Jennifer Hirata said.

They came from Davie County.

“We talked to our son about it, and he was in full agreement and understands the gravity of what the pandemic has put people through,” Hirata said. “He was happy to be part of the solution.”

While these kids had their parents by their side, parental consent will not be necessary for any teen to get their shot.

“It is permissible for a minor to consent for themselves,” Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann said.

She explained that North Carolina state law already allows kids to make judgement calls on their health care if they are presented the full information.

Vann said the COVID-19 vaccine is no different.

The health department is already working with Guilford County Schools on in-school vaccinations.

“We do send consent forms home to the parents to send it back to the school prior to the vaccination clinic,” Vann said. “We will continue to follow the same practices we follow with other vaccines.”

While the teens that got vaccinated on Wednesday only represent a small portion of kids in the Triad, they’re hoping to set a good example.

“If I get a vaccine and I tell my friends about it, then they’ll be more willing to get it,” Hannah said. “And more kids at my school will, and maybe it’ll move adults to get it too if they see younger adults getting it.”

Guilford County Schools are set to begin in-school vaccination clinics on May 14.

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