Doctor: Parents of kids 12 years and above have nothing to worry about vaccination

Dr. Felix Cabrera, chief medical officer of the Department of Public Health and Social Services. (PNC file photo)

The CDC has authorized COVID-19 vaccines for 12 to 15-year-olds and Guam is now allowed to vaccinate this age group.

Dr. Felix Cabrera told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Thursday morning that the Department of Public Health and Social Services has greenlighted COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 12 to 15-years old.

Cabrera said that although there are still parents who are uneasy about getting their children vaccinated, such fears are unfounded.

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“They have no reason to be wary. I can say that with extreme confidence. Because what we have seen with these trials, with the adolescents, 12 to 15, the vaccines are even more effective in their age group than the younger adults, which is amazing to say, right? And the safety of them is even better. So as we’re getting younger, we’re seeing that it’s even more effective and safer. That’s the key thing that we really need to understand,” Cabrera said.

He added that vaccination is especially important after evidence that COVID variants of concern could already be on-island.

On Wednesday, DPHSS received the third set of COVID samples that were sent to the CDC for genome sequencing.

The samples were taken from people in quarantine and sent out earlier this year.

Of the seven results received yesterday, six were variants of concern. Five of those were from off-island travelers. One, however, had no known travel history. That person had the UK variant.

Cabrera said that suggests that the UK variant is already on island and in the community.

The COVID variants spread faster than the original strain.

“Now is this consequential? The key thing is that…what we do know…very clearly…is that if you’re vaccinated…with either Pfizer-Biontech…Moderna…or the JnJ-Jansen vaccine…you’re going to be protected from this UK variant. So even more reason now for everyone to do their best to get vaccinated,” Cabrera said.