WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — “It is exciting. It’s great that we’ll be able to get children vaccinated,” Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District Director of Health Lou Kreidler said.
Children ages 12 to 15 are next on the list for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Although only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for adolescents, health officials are very excited to get the vaccine to as many people as possible.
“I believe [the] COVID [vaccine] is just another tool in the toolbox to protect your child from becoming ill. We’ve seen across the nation many children who are having extended issues from having covid so it really is wise to protect your children,” Kreidler said.
And some adolescents are looking forward to getting the shot.
“I want the vaccine. We’ve been in this pandemic for a year. I think at this point everyone getting the vaccine is the only solution,” a 15-year-old said.
But some parents have chosen not to vaccinate themselves or their children for fear of adverse reactions.
“That’s just being a father and I just would hate to see my kids or even one of my family members have a bad reaction to it. As long as we eat healthy, take vitamins, we’ll be just fine,” Wichita Falls resident Carl Burlton said.
“I tried to force them to sign me up already, to try and actually be able to get the vaccine. I guess it’s a political thing for them,” a 15-year-old said.
With the CDC releasing new guidelines that say fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks, Kreidler fears that another uptick in cases could hit Wichita County and is already seeing an increase.
“The majority of those cases have come from a large graduation party. There were over 100 individuals there. We have 25 cases that are now tied to that one event and it’s spilled over into another large event as well. So it is concerning,” Kreidler said.
Kreidler also advises everyone to wear a mask, especially in large gatherings.
“If you don’t want to wear your mask then you could just get both of the vaccines then two weeks later you don’t have to wear your mask anymore. If you don’t wanna wear your mask then just get the vaccine,” a 16-year-old who got vaccinated after having contracted COVID-19 said.
The health district hopes to start vaccinating adolescents by May 18.