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‘So I can hang with my friends’; Children 12 and up get COVID-19 vaccine across Charlotte

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:55 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Children between 12 and 15 years old are now turning out at vaccine sites across Charlotte for their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Wednesday afternoon, the CDC director gave the greenlight to allow vaccine providers to start offering the shot to this age group.

Fifteen-year-old Elise Arnold and her mother Charity showed up to Novant Health’s east Charlotte site as soon as news came in that it was finally her turn.

“My brother’s now allowed to do things,” Elise said of her vaccinated brother. “He can go out, see his friends. I haven’t been able to do that, but now I finally get to, because I’m getting my shots.”

Her mother shares her excitement.

“My parents are visiting for my son’s graduation from high school in about four weeks, so she’ll have her second vaccine before they come, so we can all get together as a family,” Charity said. “We will all have our vaccines.”

Elise is one of more than 40 children who got shots at the Novant clinic on Wednesday night.

Demand from this age group continued to grow across Charlotte throughout the day Thursday.

“It was really quick and easy,” 12-year-old Nate Dyer told WBTV after getting the shot at Bojangles’ Coliseum.

“So I can hang around my friends and family, without getting anyone sick,” he said.

Vaccine providers are welcoming kids to any sites that are administering the Pfizer vaccine.

By the end of the summer, Novant Health plans to have the shot in most pediatrician’s offices.

“So that patients can get it in their medical home,” Novant Health pediatrician Dr. Catherine Ohmstede said.

The goal is to put kids at ease and take every opportunity to educate parents.

“What we’ve found over time is the benefits of vaccination are huge, and there are very few risks whatsoever,” Dr. David Priest with Novant Health said.

Another big change came out of the CDC advisory committee on Wednesday. There is no longer a requirement to space out vaccinations two weeks apart.

This means your child can get the COVID-19 vaccine on the same day as other immunizations.

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