Parents bypass pediatrician, opt for drive-through COVID-19 vaccines

Children are vaccinated

Some parents in the Atlanta area would like to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

DEKALB COUNTY, Go After more than a year of social distance, masks and other COVID-19 restrictions, Chandler Kirkland thinks a little pain is worth the price of getting back to a little normal. She was one of many teens who wanted to get her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Viral Solutions’ drive-through vaccination site in Decatur on Friday.

“I can go out now, go on vacation, have sleepovers with my friends again,” said the 13-year-old smiling broadly behind her mask.

Yusef Cohen admits he didn’t want to get vaccinated until the rules at his school changed.

“When the CDC said it was okay not to wear a mask outside if you got vaccinated, my school said it wasn’t necessary either. I’m tired of wearing masks, so I thought I’d get the chance,” said the 14-year-old resident of DeKalb County who was vaccinated Friday.

Viral Solutions initially set up locations in the Atlanta metro for COVID-19 testing last year, then added Moderna and Pfizer immunizations for adults. After the FDA approved Pfizer’s emergency permit for children 12 and older, the agency’s service expanded, along with its line of avid parents.

“We have elderly grandparents in the family and although many of the adults in the family have been vaccinated, I felt guilty taking the children around them. Now I don’t have to feel guilty,” said Veronika Bari as she waited for her son to be tested at the Clairmont Road site.

But surveys like the Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly “COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor” show that parents have mixed feelings about vaccinating their teens and tweens.

Only a third said they would vaccinate their children as soon as possible. A fourth said they will not vaccinate and 18% will only do so if their school requires it. About 30% of those surveyed said they wanted to see how the vaccine works.

“I was really concerned about the vaccine. I was. But in the end I decided that the risks from the virus are far worse than the side effects of the vaccine,” said Debbie Cohen, who allowed her son Yusef to make the final decision about its immunization. .

Viral Solutions sites employ medical professionals, including doctor’s assistants who see each patient before they leave. Locations have opened in Atlanta, Austell, Marietta, Norcross, and in southern DeKalb County.

“The more people get vaccinated, the more it will help everyone,” said Rodney Patterson, Viral Solutions site manager.

Some sites are open on Saturdays. Visit for more information.

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