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Local pediatrician weighs in on COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12-15

Posted at 8:25 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 09:31:47-04

TULSA, Okla. — On Thursday, the Tulsa Health Department began administering vaccines to kids ages 12-15 after the FDA authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week.

READ MORE: Tulsa Health Department to begin administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to ages 12 and up

“We’re protecting their children for their own sake, and we’re also protecting the children as part of a larger piece of solving COVID for all of society,” said Dr. Don Zetik, pediatrician at Pediatric and Adolescent Care.

Zetik said he has treated many patients between 12 to 15 who contracted COVID-19.

“We did not see hundreds of cases, in most cases we were seeing dozens of cases and for the most part, our patients in the pediatric age group were not horribly ill,” he said.

However, Zetik said hospitals and intensive care units did see more of the severe cases among children and teens. The Tulsa County Health Department reports nearly 3,000 cases in young people 12 to 15 to date. Thirty-one of those were hospitalized and one died.

Crystal Dooley is a mother of a 12, 14, and 15-year-old. She said she would rather have her kids vaccinated than jeopardize their health if they contracted the virus.

“I came to get them vaccinated," Dooley said. "I just would rather be safe than sorry."

However, not all parents feel comfortable vaccinating their kids. Zetik said it's valid for parents to be skeptical because they care about the health and well-being of their child.

"I want what’s best for my kids, I want what's best for your kids," he said.

Zetik said he is confident in the science, and if you understand the steps of vaccine development, you can trust its efficacy and safety.

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