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Little Rock doctors among first to have their kids get Pfizer vaccine



With the recent FDA authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to include kids age 12 to 15, Dr. Brooke Wilson wasted no time to get her son vaccinated.

Wilson is a physician in Little Rock and mother to a 12-year-old boy, Win, and 7-year-old girl, Lilly. She set up an appointment for Win to be vaccinated at the Pharmacy at Wellington in west Little Rock as soon as she could.

“As a mom, I was really excited to get one more person in our family vaccinated,” Wilson said. “As a physician, I’ve been recommending the vaccine to all of the adults currently coming through our clinic, and I was just really happy that now I can refer our pediatric patients 12 and up.”

Wilson is a huge supporter of the vaccine for kids and let other parents know that she encourages them to also make appointments for their kids.

“I know the vaccine is safe and effective and that’s just something that I’m trying to tell all of my patients and make sure they know,” Wilson said.

Her son, Win, was a little anxious about signing up at first, but said his mom was able to give him the reassurance he needed. Now, he recommends all of his friends get the vaccine.

“It’s not that bad,” Win said.

Wilson wasn’t the only one hurrying to get an appointment. Dr. Shelly Crary also got her 15-year-old daughter, Sydney, an appointment at Wellington on the first day she was eligible.

“I was watching the CDC panel and as soon as we found out it was approved we picked her up and brought her over here to get the vaccine,” Crary said.

Pharmacies were not able to administer the vaccine to children until it received approval from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s (ACIP). The committee voted to approve the vaccine at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. Appointments for children at the Pharmacy at Wellington started Wednesday at 3 p.m.

The Pharmacy at Wellington was able to sign up 140 kids for the vaccine on the first day it was available and the pharmacy expect busy days ahead.

“I think that it’s extremely important that as many people as we can get vaccinated,” she said, “to reach heard immunity in this country, to let us open things up. I’ve had it, my husband’s had it, we’ve had no bad experiences, no hesitation.”

For parents who are on the fence, Wilson and Crary both recommend talking to a family doctor or pediatrician one-on-one.

“I feel like that’s the best way to get information that is true and actually helpful,” Wilson said.

As for the kids, getting the vaccine means they’re one-step-closer to getting back to the activities they loved before the pandemic.

“I feel better about him going to summer camp,” Wilson said. “That was a worry that we had last year. He didn’t go. Of course, we just want our kids to get back to normal, and I feel like now sending him to camp with at least one vaccine will be a little bit more of a level of protection that we didn’t have before.”

Crary shared that sentiment.

“To let them go back to school in the fall, lead normal lives, get out of these masks, all of that stuff –the vaccines have to happen first,” Crary said.