Hundreds of adolescents in Nashville found their way to vaccination events on Thursday, as the Pfizer COVID shots are now permitted for children as young as 12.
Jackson Gardiner just made the cutoff. His mother told him he is now eligible, and so they made an appointment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“I already had this once. I just don’t want it again,” he says. “So once I heard I could get it, I took that chance right away.”
The sixth grader at Head Middle Magnet School, says he didn’t have many symptoms from COVID, but he doesn’t want to be cooped up in his room again for 10 days.
His mother, Andrea Gardiner, says she wants to feel better about seeing older relatives and sending him to Boy Scout camp.
“Everybody wants to see everybody, and we’ve been following guidelines, but we want to … make the bubble a little bit bigger,” she says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says parents no longer have to worry about the COVID shot interfering with other childhood vaccinations, which can now be taken at the same time. That’s expected to remove one hurdle for adolescents, many of whom are supposed to take a battery of inoculations in middle school.
Vanderbilt vaccinated 795 adolescents on Thursday, primarily at its One Hundred Oaks site. Families were asking to make appointments (here), but walk-ins were not being turned away, even with a steady line most of the day.
Metro Health vaccinated at least 90 12- to 15-year-olds on Thursday through its sites at the Recover Clinic on Jefferson Street and a drive-thru vaccination site on Murfreesboro Pike. Both sites operate only during school hours. Metro Schools is encouraging families to use Vanderbilt, which has extended hours.
Metro Health is also vaccinating the new age group at community events, listed here.