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Pediatric expert recommends teens get COVID-19 vaccine

Smith’s pharmacist Mark Welch prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination event at a church in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 20, 2021. (Photo courtesy: Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Teenagers age 16 and up can now be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state of Utah. A prominent Utah pediatric expert says parents will want to get their teens signed up for the vaccine. 

“Older teens can get very sick with this. It’s not the same rate, and they are not at the same risk as older adults, but it’s not trivial,” said Dr. Andrew Pavia. “We don’t want to take a chance that your child is the one who will be sick or have a long-term consequence.”

Dr. Pavia is the chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah, and director of hospital epidemiology at Primary Children’s Hospital.

Fewer Utah kids receive routine vaccinations during a pandemic, doctors say

Teens and the vaccine

His children are adults now and getting vaccinated, but he would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone else for their teens.

“Yes, I would have my kids vaccinated. I also know that my kids would have not only wanted to, they would have volunteered to participate in the trials given the choice,” he said.

He says teenagers can protect their own health and the health of those around them by getting the vaccine.

Plus, vaccination will help teenagers and society get back to normal activities. Eventually it will mean they won’t have to get Covid tested before school, sports, events and dances.

He stressed again that no steps were skipped in the development of these vaccines.

“The safety data is now not just based on a clinical trial of 45,000 people, but it is based on careful follow-up that the CDC is doing of vaccinees that now are a very large number of people,” Dr Pavia said.

 

4 tips for getting a COVID-19 vaccine appointment booked sooner in Utah


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Get vaccinated.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States