I Spoke to 23 Parents Who Are Vaccinating Their Teens Against Covid-19
Now that kids as young as 12 can get a vaccine, here’s a look at how parents across the country are responding
When the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12–15, millions of parents across the country breathed a sigh of relief. At last, their teens could have the opportunity to live somewhat normal lives with the protection a vaccine offered them.
“For some teens, the vaccine may be their sort of beacon of hope that they can go back to doing the things they want to do without worry, without fear,” Robin Gurwitch, PhD, a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center, told me. She said some teens may look forward to getting the vaccine so they can feel safe going to school. Others wanted to feel safer being around friends and participating in activities. Others wanted to visit family members they worried about accidentally infecting before they were vaccinated. For many, it was all of the above.
About a third of parents appear to feel the same way, according to polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation that found three in 10 parents planned to get their children vaccinated right away. I asked some of those parents in my social networks why they wanted to get their adolescents vaccinated so quickly. Here’s what they told me.
‘The best way I can keep him safe’
“I want my child to be safe when he returns to school this fall. I also worry about long-term complications of Covid. We live in an area where I know many kids who could get the vaccine won’t be getting it. It’s the best way I can keep him safe. I also want to be able to take him to concerts, the theatre, travel on planes, trains, and subways. I feel like I’m missing out on all these travel and experience opportunities I had planned to have with my kids. Protecting them via a Covid vaccine is the best way I know to help us get back on track to that. I want to do my part in attaining herd immunity — if it’s possible to accomplish that at this point. The 12-year-old is scheduled for the vaccine Saturday. Now with the new mask off, I’m a little anxious about the 10-year-old. I’m not going to be happy if he…