PROVO, Utah— Teenagers age 16 and up can now be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state of Utah. A prominent Utah pediatric expert says parents will want to get their teens signed up for the vaccine.
“Older teens can get very sick with this. It’s not the same rate, and they are not at the same risk as older adults, but it’s not trivial,” said Dr. Andrew Pavia. “We don’t want to take a chance that your child is the one who will be sick or have a long-term consequence.”
Dr. Pavia is the chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah, and director of hospital epidemiology at Primary Children’s Hospital.
Teens and the vaccine
His children are adults now and getting vaccinated, but he would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone else for their teens.
“Yes, I would have my kids vaccinated. I also know that my kids would have not only wanted to, they would have volunteered to participate in the trials given the choice,” he said.
He says teenagers can protect their own health and the health of those around them by getting the vaccine.
Plus, vaccination will help teenagers and society get back to normal activities. Eventually it will mean they won’t have to get Covid tested before school, sports, events and dances.
He stressed again that no steps were skipped in the development of these vaccines.
“The safety data is now not just based on a clinical trial of 45,000 people, but it is based on careful follow-up that the CDC is doing of vaccinees that now are a very large number of people,” Dr Pavia said.