Pediatricians hope COVID-19 vaccinations in children will encourage use of more vaccines

FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) – Pediatricians will have their hands full in the coming weeks and months vaccinating young teens against the coronavirus.

The FDA approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old earlier this week. Doctors hope the COVID-19 vaccines will encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against other diseases.

Dr. Faisal Mawri, a pediatrician in Flint Township, has already been inundated with calls for appointments to get the vaccine. He’s had to make a waiting list because he doesn’t have any Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses on hand yet.

“This is the way to go back to normal, and it is extremely effective and safe,” said Mawri.

He dedicated part of his building solely to administering the vaccine. There will be a separate entrance, so there is no risk of exposing other patients who may be ill.

“We have personnel specially trained for the needs of children,” said Mawri. “And children are not small adults. Children differ in many ways. “

He said vaccinating young teens against the coronavirus also offers a unique opportunity to improve their health in other ways.

“It is also a good opportunity to also tell the parents when they come here that they are ready for other immunizations as well, and it is clear that we can administer some of those immunizations or have them scheduled for another day.” , said Mawri.

According to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, vaccination rates for several other diseases in more than half of Michigan’s 83 counties have dropped below 70% as a result of the pandemic. Mawri hopes those numbers will change.

He encourages patients to continue following masking, social distance, and hand washing protocols between receiving the two doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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