PHILADELPHIA - The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged parents to get their children 12 and older vaccinated against COVID-19, pointing to an increase in hospitalization rates among the age group — including some who required intensive care.
"We just felt that it was safe enough and we were ready to return to normal," said Ann Summers. She says it was a no brainer when it came to getting her 16-year old daughter Olivia vaccinated against the coronavirus.
"So that when she goes to school and somebody gets exposed she doesn’t have to quarantine," she said. Olivia was willing and ready.
"I just know it’s going to be for the better and I feel safer now so I thought it was an easier decision too," she said. Her cousin 19-year Amy Kunhardt says it was for her too. She's in college.
"Even though my college didn't require it, our grandmother is 93-years old and I want to make sure I'm protecting my family," said Amy.
Dr. Mike Cirigliano says the vaccine is the only way out of this.
"The reason we are seeing more and more kids having the virus instead of the elderly folks, one, and the elderly folks have been vaccinated. Secondly, kids are getting together, the mask mandates are going away and it’s almost as if things have normalized and the pandemic just went away. The sad truth is the virus is still around and there are still these variants," he said.
As of now Kalimah Fiers has no plans to get herself or her 13-year old daughter vaccinated.
"I honestly wanted to see how the vaccine works for at least a year before I did that." And she feels this about the CDC's findings.
"I think a lot of the kids that are having this problem is ultimately management inside the schools or wherever these kids are coming together and the masks. Not wearing the protective gear," said Fiers.
The CDC says until teens are vaccinated they should continue to wear masks and take precautions when around other people.
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