Lexington pediatrician talks about COVID-19 vaccine demand among children

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – There is pent-up demand among parents trying to secure a COVID-19 vaccine for their children.

Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for 12 to 15-year-olds. But Moderna announcing findings that its vaccine strongly protects that age group could change that.

Moderna’s findings showed no COVID-19 cases in children given both doses of the shot. The company said the vaccine appears to be 93 percent effective two weeks after the first dose.

Experts said another vaccine for adolescents would bring more options, even though they say most parents don’t have a preference between shots from the two companies.

Even though children are less likely to get extremely sick from the virus, they are worried they could spread the virus to others.

Dr. Scott Tracy, a pediatrician with Pediatric and Adolescent Associates, said the response to the shots has been overwhelming. He said there had been continuous calls from parents trying to secure appointments. Dr. Tracy said the shot is vital to getting children back to normal activities.

“Adolescents have really struggled, and they’ve been left behind, and they had to navigate this without, you know, a lot of social support, and it’s an increased a lot of our mental health visits related to anxiety and depression,” Dr. Tracy said. “I think this will only help kids get back to that normal expectation and relax some of those mental health issues we’ve had to struggle through.”

Children account for around 14 percent of the country’s positive COVID-19 cases.

Both Moderna and Pfizer have started testing their vaccines for children as young as six months old.

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