Doctors weigh in on the possibility of teens being vaccinated

ATLANTA — Children account for about 22% of new COVID-19 cases in the United States. Some local doctors believe allowing children 12 to 15 to get the vaccine could stop the transmission.

Jessica Jones, who lives in Decatur, wants life to return to normal. She believes, like most people, that making the COVID-19 vaccine available to as many people as possible is the best way to get back to normal.

“It takes us as a whole to make it work; if not everybody participates, then its not ever going to end,” Jones said.

Herd immunity is already happening in the senior and chronically ill populations, despite less than 40% of the U.S. population being fully vaccinated, according to Dr. Cecil Bennett, a family physician in Newnan.

“The number of hospitalizations has dropped off. The number of deaths has dropped off dramatically since vaccination,” Bennett said.

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Now it’s time to focus on the teenagers. Dr. Darrell Murray, a family physician, sees the teenage group as a critical one to reach to get out of the pandemic.

“Transmission is going to plummet once you pull them out of the equation,” Murray said. “They can be so healthy. They can be infected for a month and just spread all over the place with no symptoms.”

Adam Coleman does not believe vaccines are necessary.

In a comment, he wrote, “My wife and I are both vaccinated but we won’t be vaccinating our two children who are at no risk of becoming severely ill or dying from COVID-19.”

However, for freedom to travel and a return to school with peace of mind, Beth Shoemaker wants the shot for her son.

“He’s a little bit too young, but as soon as he’s able he’s also going to get vaccinated.”

Just this week, Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, and it’s widely expected the FDA will grant the same approval here in the U.S. by early next week.