The influx of teens getting COVID vaccines means many are getting shots not because they want to, but because someone else wants them to: namely, their parents.
Some kids getting vaccinated at Vanderbilt Health’s One Hundred Oaks campus say they were eager for this shot. But not Caleb Bilbo.
“I mean, I was kind of worried because I don’t like needles,” says Bilbo, a 13-year-old at Valor Collegiate Academy. “But other than that, it was just like, Mom said we should go.”
His mother says she was more worried about her son’s peanut allergy and whether the vaccine would interfere with that. But his allergist said he should be fine. And so far, so good.
The 12-to-15 year-olds now eligible for Pfizer’s COVID shot do have more reason than their elders to think the vaccine could make them feel worse than the virus. Children are not completely free of risk, but they make up a tiny fraction of the COVID hospitalizations and deaths.
For that reason, Xander Cuff of Hume Fogg High School says he wasn’t interested in taking the shot.
“I mean, I didn’t really want to. But it’s whatever,” he says. “I don’t know, I’m 15, I’m pretty healthy. I thought, ‘I’ll be fine.’ It doesn’t really matter though.”
His mother says he’s old enough to do his own research. But she still decides what’s best — which was, in this case, to get the vaccine.