UPMC says it has already seen an interest in kids getting vaccinted.By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania has already begun giving the coronavirus shot to children 12 to 15 years old.

On the heels of the CDC’s recommendation to use the Pfizer vaccine in children nationally, local doctors say it could be a battle to convince some parents to vaccinate their kids.

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Dr. John Williams is the head of pediatric infectious diseases at UPMC Children’s Hospital. He says when it comes to trial and error, Pfizer’s vaccine was tested in teenagers, with the tests showing fewer side effects than adults.

Dr. Williams said it is also proven that teens spread coronavirus just as much as adults, which is only one reason he believes getting vaccinated is important.

UPMC says it has already seen an interest in kids getting vaccinated. One 14-year-old who got the shot Wednesday said it’s all the talk with her friends and she wants to be safe.

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“I just had a different look on it. At first, everybody was panicking, but once you learn what the safe things are and put it in your own life, it was a lot easier.”

Dr. Williams, who is also a parent, said getting children vaccinated is another step to normalcy with summer camps just around the corner and some schools around the country making the shot mandatory.

“I think the vaccine will prevent a small number of severe and fatal infections in kids,” the doctor said. “But for the vast majority of kids, it will allow them to get back to a normal life.”

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Children can only get the vaccine with parental approval. That is why Dr. Williams believes it is important for parents and children to have candid conversations.