JEFFERSON CITY –  The CDC's recommendation that 12 to 15-year-old children can get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine gives millions of American teens and some preteens a chance at protection.

It also has given people many questions.

"We have started getting a lot of questions about the vaccine availability for younger individuals down to the age of 12," Chezney Schulte of the Cole County Health department said. "I think a lot of that education really needs to come from their pediatricians."

The newly eligible group has left those professionals with a new role in helping get people the facts.

"It is something that you should reach out to your primary doctor to talk about," Jefferson City Medical Group pediatrician William Klutho said. "I see a lot of families turning to that and being like, 'Thank you, now I can get the vaccine, I can keep not only myself safe, but my family safe.'"

Dr. Klutho says he's had many families express their concerns about getting a COVID-19 shot.

"I have seen that vaccine hesitancy," he said. "There is a lot of concern with that, especially with how fast the vaccine has been rolled out."

Advice that comes from a more personal connection not only helps in providing information, but can also be helpful in easing concerns.

"That recommendation is going to stand more firm than something that you hear on TV by CDC, by DHSS," Chezney said. "They know their chronic health factors, underlying conditions, immune responses, things like that."

Klutho added that he trusts the vaccines and does believe they are right for those who are considering getting their children vaccinated.

"We can definitely say it is a very safe, very safe vaccine," Dr. Klutho said. "I am not going to recommend something that I'm not willing to get my own kids for."

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only shot available to those under the age of 18.

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