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Pfizer trial in kids shows hope for reaching herd immunity

Posted at 4:13 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 19:13:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Pfizer says their COVID-19 vaccine has proved to be safe and effective in kids as young as 12.

Their latest study focused on the vaccine's effect on children and teens aged 12-15.

This is a big deal to help not only keep kids safe but will also help get the country closer to normalcy, Dr. Andy Pavia said. Dr. Pavia is the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at U of U Health and Director of the Hospital Epidemiology Program at Primary Children’s Hospital.

“We are not going to get to herd immunity without vaccinating children,” he said.

Read: Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine protects kids as young as 12, shots could start by next school year

As of Monday, the Utah Department of Health reports 16.5 percent of Utahns between the ages of 16-29 have been vaccinated with one dose of the vaccine and 7.8 percent have been fully vaccinated.

“Once we have high rates of vaccine in the general population and then teenagers in general, things are going to start to change,” Dr. Pavia said.

Read: SLC researchers study COVID-19 vaccine in kids

It is important everyone does their part to get vaccinated, Intermountain Healthcare System Vaccination Lead, Diane Rindlisbacher said.

“We need them to engage in getting vaccinated. And if they are younger than 18, we need their parents to engage in helping their children 16-18 get vaccinated,” she said.

Read: How some are finding vaccine appointments in days, while others wait weeks

People have been showing up to get vaccinated and when more age groups become eligible, the Utah County Department of Health is ready, Aislynn Tolman-Hill, Utah County Health Dept. spokesperson, said.

“There is a lot of public encouragement, family encouragement, we are seeing a lot of really good news coming out of the CDC,” she said.

Young adults are showing up, Tolman-Hill said.

“We have parents and guardians bringing those teens 16 and 17 year olds, we have seen them bringing the teenagers coming in to get the Pfizer vaccine,” she said.

For more information on vaccines in Utah, click here.