Geisinger sees influx of kids getting vaccinated

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Many parents aren’t wasting any time helping their kids roll up their sleeves for the vaccine.

According to Geisinger, ever since the FDA approved Pfizer for children 12 and up, they’ve been getting two questions, “where can I get the shot for my kids and how fast?”

Instead of hesitancy, Vice Chair of Outpatient Pediatrics Dr. Stacey Cummings says they’re seeing an influx in interest. This she says is good, as the virus knows no age.

“It just wants to multiply. As older members of the population have been vaccinated the younger adults, and the adolescents and kids are who’s left to let the virus replicate. So we’re seeing increasing numbers of kids who are getting sick,” said Cummings.

Which is why she says it’s important that kids get vaccinated.

“The virus will lessen its spread and they’ll be able to go to school and do their activities, maybe even summer camp and vacation, or sports when the time comes in the fall, or band. All of those things that are really normal for kids will feel a lot more normal the more vaccine that’s around and the less virus that’s circulating,” said Cummings.

According to Cummings the hospital began vaccinating those 12 and up May 13. Just over the weekend she says one of their four sites alone, vaccinated 400 kids.

“With many more coming,” said Cummings.

Still, she reminds those of what to expect after getting the shot.

“Arm soreness is common, some people have complained about body aches, headaches, upset stomach. Some have felt like their lymph nodes under there arms are a little bigger and sorer, some fever complaints,” said Cummings.

Which she says can all be treated with Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

And as for the kids who might have a fear of needles….

“It only pinches for a second, it’s not the worlds biggest needle,” reassured Cummings smiling.

Dr. Cummings says vaccine companies are actively conducting more studies.

“Pfizer has come out to say that they expect their next age group, FDA emergency use authorization to be requested in September. We think that might be somewhere around 5.We also know that they have data down to 2 so that could always be a surprise that it’s even younger. And the Moderna studies goes down to 6 months.”

Dr. Cummings says be the end of this year or early next year, the eligibility pool could be widened even more.

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