SAN ANTONIO – Children of doctors in the San Antonio community lined up to get a COVID-19 vaccine shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee endorsed the use of the Pfizer shot in kids as young as 12 years old on Wednesday.
Tate Seger, 13, found out she would be among the first children around her age in San Antonio and the nation to get the Pfizer vaccine as soon as she was picked up from school on Wednesday.
“I think it’s cool to be like some of the first people to get COVID-19 vaccinated as a kid,” she said while sitting outside Heritage Pediatrics.
Her mother, Jenny Seger, was just as excited to ensure that her daughters were protected and help protect others from the virus.
“Super excited. I rearranged some things with my work schedule just to make sure that we could get the girls here,” Jenny Seger said.
Dr. John Fitch, with Heritage Pediatrics, was anticipating the announcement and received his order of Pfizer vaccines on Monday. He wants parents to trust the advice from medical experts. As an example to others, the first group to receive the vaccine were children of doctors in our community. About a dozen of them got the shot during the first trial drive-thru clinic.
“All of them are children of physicians in our community. And so we wanted our community to know that we’re not just recommending this to other people. We’ve given it to our own kids today,” he said, including his youngest child.
Dr. Walter Walthall says the more people get vaccinated, the faster things can get back to normal. He says his twin girls understand it’s crucial. “They understand the importance of this, and they understand that once we’re all vaccinated, we can start flying again and feel safe about it,” Walthall said.
Fitch said many parents are ready, but others still have concerns.
“The biggest question we get is ‘Why should I give it to my child who really doesn’t tend to get so sick from the virus?’” he said.
Fitch says the vaccines rule out the worry of severe illness if a child were to get infected.
“One, giving the vaccine helps to prevent a rare complication. Two, I think it gives freedom. So these children -- when they’re fully vaccinated and they get exposed, they no longer have to quarantine for 14 days,” Fitch said. “And when they get illness symptoms, they don’t have to come into my office and get their nose swab to prove that they don’t have COVID-19. And then the third thing is that it’s a benefit to our community. It’s loving our neighbor.”
Parents who have specific concerns about their kids’ health should talk to their pediatrician. But anyone ready to get their child who is 12 years or older the vaccine can visit any location where the Pfizer shot is being given.
The CDC said kids don’t have to wait 14 days between regular immunizations and the COVID-19 shot. They can be given at the same time to help any kids who have skipped their routine vaccines to catch up.
Plans to vaccinate the next group of kids, ages 2 and 11, will likely be revealed in September.