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‘If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for my kids’: Youth start getting the vaccine in Anchorage

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Now that kids aged 12-15 are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, parents are figuring out whether or not they are going to have their children get the shot.

For Jen Clark and her 14-year-old twins Jenson and Amalie Loki, it was an easy decision to get vaccinated because it meant a path to having a normal life again.

“I guess I’m just a little bit nervous because I hate needles and all types of shots, but I’m excited to have it over with and do things again,” Amalie Loki said.

“I can do more stuff. I can eat at a restaurant and see my friends in person and like, without a mask,” Jenson Loki added.

They got their first doses at LaTouche Pediatrics where they had a trailer set up with a certified medical assistant administering the shots. It was complete with kid-friendly band-aids, including Spider-Man-themed ones, for after the shots.

Amalie and Jenson said life during the pandemic got pretty boring while they weren’t in school and many activities were a no-go. They still hung out with their friends, except they said they were restricted to outside almost all of the time. They said it got pretty annoying — and cold.

After their shots, they were asked to stay in the car for 15 minutes for an observation period, which has become the standard for the vaccine roll-out. They didn’t have any immediate reactions and were cleared by the certified medical assistant, who said she hasn’t had any problems with other children she’s vaccinated.

As they waited, their mom was beginning to feel the relief as well. Pretty soon, she won’t have to keep telling her kids “no” to things they wanted to do that were considered unsafe before the vaccine, like sleepovers and inviting friends inside.

Clark also talked about how frustrating it was for parents while they tried to explain the rules and restrictions of mandates and lock-downs to their teenagers, and how that will soon be over in their house.

“Having the rules change was really hard,” Clark said. “It did cause a lot of tension, and fights.”

Clark said after both vaccine doses, she felt the fatigue and soreness. She said she explained that to her kids in the days leading up to their appointment.

“Yeah, we let them know that they may be a little tired tonight,” she said. “We may have a little earlier bedtime. And that’s okay.”

The Clark and her children are hopeful that other families will make the same decision they did. Clark said she understands people’s concerns and reasons to not get their children vaccinated.

“If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for my kids,” she said.

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