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Nevada's COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands, decision to get vaccine mixed

Posted at 7:13 PM, Apr 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 09:15:45-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As the fight against the coronavirus continues, the decision to get a vaccine in Southern Nevada is mixed.

Starting Monday, those 16 years of age and older in Nevada can start getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

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“The more vaccinated the better, I’m all for it,” says Kimberly Brock.

Brock is ready to get her teens vaccinated against COVID-19, but her concern will be timing.

“As a mom of four and a parent to teens, they have busy schedules, they have school, we’re looking for convenience,” says Brock. “Everything always runs behind, it’s a few hours time to commit for one child at a time.”

Despite the concern, Brock is ready to get her family protected as soon as possible.

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For other parents, they’re choosing to hold off for now.

“There’s not enough information out there to see how it would impact the kids in the long term,” says Lorena Llamas.

Llamas is a mom of three teens, and her daughter will be eligible for the vaccine on Monday.

Llamas decided to get vaccinated herself but isn’t comfortable with her kids doing so.

“It’s kind of like a wait and see what happens and then wait for the experts in the medical field to do more medical research on kids and see what the outcome is,” says Llamas.

Currently, only one of the three available vaccines can be given to those 16 years of age and older.

RELATED: UMC to offer COVID-19 vaccine for Nevadans 16 and older starting Monday

Pfizer conducted trials in those as young as 16, while Moderna and Johnson & Johnson did not.

Dr. Michael Teng says that’s likely due to those 16 and 17 years of age needing parental consent.

Legally, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson can’t vaccinate a 16-year-old, due to their Emergency Use Authorization.

“No company’s going to take the chance of vaccinating, saying that they can vaccinate under that because they’re legally responsible for anything that happens, you know, in the kind of very rare circumstance that something might be different,” says Teng.

Pfizer announced last week that their COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protects kids as young as 12, following a small U.S study.

Pfizer reported side effects were similar to young adults, especially after the second dose.

“As a parent, I think we are always doing what’s in the best interest of our children,” says Llamas.