CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Teenagers on the Central Coast are now able to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
"Last week, I was just sitting on my couch thinking oh only adults can get it. And now, I got it," said Michael Baza.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend the use of Pfizer's COVID vaccine for children as young as 12. Because they're underage and live in Monterey County teenagers need their parents' permission to get vaccinated.
"I wish it could've been done way earlier, but I'm so thankful they're allowing it now," said Baza's father.
Mayra Melchor and her mother Cecilia Martínez came to visit family in Salinas from Guanajuato Mexico. They noticed that they were both already eligible and decided to get vaccinated.
"To feel more secure. because I know how people feel who have lost someone because of covid," said Melchor. "It is a very strong disease and it is better to help prevent."
Martínez said she lost her father because of Covid-19 and that in her country the administration of the vaccine is too slow. Johanna Hill is a mother of three children, two of them are teenagers. At first, she was a little nervous about the vaccine but after doing research she felt more comfortable and decided it was time.
"When the studies came out this week that the 12 to 15 age range was in fact even more effective than it was for older adults and older teens, I was really, really excited that my kids would be able to be protected," said Hill.
Other parents, I talk to say they are undecided about vaccinating their children. They claim that there are not enough studies on side effects in minors.
In a statement sent to KION Natividad Pediatric Service Director Chris Carpenter wrote, "Vaccinating our adolescents over age 12 years is a vitally important step in decreasing the spread of COVID-19 and getting us back to normal. I also look forward to a time in the near future when I can vaccinate my twin 10-year-old children."