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Valley children begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines

1 month 1 day 12 hours ago Thursday, May 13 2021 May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021 4:46 PM May 13, 2021 in News - Local

DHR Health in Edinburg began administering vaccines to children as young as 12 on Thursday.

Some parents were not hesitating to get their pre-teens and teens their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, with many saying this is something they've been waiting for.

"I thought it was very important to get it,” Bernice Gonzalez, a parent said. “"I jumped on the vaccine for me and my boys as soon as it came out and I wanted to get my daughter because tragically this year both of my grandparents passed away from the virus."

It's not just parents asking for the vaccine - especially after losing a loved one to the virus.  It hits close to home for some of the adolescents as well.

"It's up to you if you don't want to get it but I think that you should and just prevent your family members from getting sick,” Samantha Acevel said. “Especially your grandparents because mine died."

Experts at DHR Health said kids are often carriers of the virus, even if they are not experiencing symptoms themselves.

"Kids tend to congregate,” DHR Health Director of Emergency Management Sherri Avendroth said. “They're out, they're in the community, going to athletic events, going to parties."

Even returning to the classroom could get complicated for students carrying the disease.

"You have a child that's unvaccinated and goes to school and becomes infected,” Avendroth said. “Kids normally have a mild case so they might not even know they’re infected. They go home and they have their family and they go to a soccer game…and they're just spreading."

One parent said getting a vaccine makes her feel safer with people trying to return to everyday activities in public.

"It was in our best interest and I thought it might be needed and required in the future, might as well do it now,” Adriana Flores said. 

Karina Flores was among the recipients of the vaccine.

"I'm the one that's going to be hanging out with them, and I want them to feel as safe as I do,” Karina Flores said. 

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