TYLER, Texas — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cleared the way for all 12 to 15-year-olds to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
"The benefits are less illness or no illness at all," Dr. Benjamin Constante, physician at Hospitality Health ER, said.
Dr. Constante has seen and treated many COVID-19 patients through his work at ER. He says the vaccine will help protect against the virus and prevent community spread.
"The risk of spread is an issue for most families," Constante said. "They have other people that live with them and you never know parent-wise or their grandparents that live with them, but exposure risk at your home."
Another factor in considering vaccinating your child is to prevent illness or spread at school.
"Sometimes you get the flu even in spite of the vaccine but you are not nearly as ill as the next person who is not vaccinated and catches the flu," Constante said.
From the dates of July 27, 2020 to May 2, 2021 more than 1,000 cases were reported from the four major school districts in East Texas; Tyler ISD, Longview ISD, Lufkin ISD and Nacogdoches ISD cumulatively, according to the Texas Department of State Health.
Pfizer says its vaccine is 100% effective in preventing illness among those 12 to 15 years old.
"I know as a parent I don't want my kids sick and if I can help prevent that than that seems motivation enough for me to say OK I'm going to get you immunized so that you're not sick," Constante said.