Pediatricians key to reducing vaccine hesitancy

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Now that COVID vaccinations are available to children as young as 12, pediatricians play a much bigger role in giving the injections — and it’s the right choice for convincing parents to vaccinate their children. Pediatricians say it’s easier to win over parents when there’s a history of trust.

Most of the COVID shots have been to mass vaccination sites where you probably don’t know the person on the other side of the needle. But now the massive sites are being phased out and more doctors are giving the COVID vaccine in their offices — and giving it to patients as young as 12 years old.

The Pima County health department says 172 medical providers are now receiving vaccine supplies and able to give patients injections.

12-year-old Gabriel Farinelli has had Pfizer shot number one and is getting shot number two this weekend. Aside from the way kids think about a shot, he’s happy to get it.

“Yes, because children can be asymptomatic carriers. And they can spread the disease to other people, most of them old people. So it helps that I don’t make other people sick.”

Gabriel is the son of a doctor, so his mother, Doctor Christine Farinelli, is confident in the vaccine.

She says: “Our family was affected by COVID. We lost our grandfather, father-in-law, and so being aware of what he went through, we can kind of be, okay, this is important, we need to take other people up on that.” protect kind of loss.”

Pediatrician, Dr. Sandra Herron, says her office at Tanque Verde Pediatrics has already given about 500 COVID injections, but those were with families eager to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible. She knows some parents have reservations, but says pediatricians specialize in all sorts of vaccinations, and because she’s a doctor they know, she has a better chance of convincing parents that the vaccinations are protecting their children from COVID and doing it safely .

“There is a lot of misinformation and misinformation, and in the world we live in with social media and the drivers of that misinformation. We feel that if a parent can come to someone they can trust and get the factual facts as opposed to anecdotes or misinformation that we can really do some good and help them feel good about vaccinating of their children,”

And she says children can get severe cases of COVID, and with more of the rest of the population vaccinated, cases are growing faster in 12- to 17-year-olds than in any other group.

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