CNN’s Pamela Brown shared a humorous moment Saturday with a family she was interviewing about children being able to get the Covid-19 vaccines when one of the kids took the opportunity to troll her brother on live television.
Pfizer and BioNTech, the manufacturers of one of the three vaccines approved by the FDA for emergency use authorization, will be asking the FDA to give full approval for their vaccine for those 16 and older, Brown reported, and the FDA is expected to grant emergency use authorization for the vaccine to be given to children ages 12 to 15 at some point next week.
However, Brown noted, recent polls showed persisting vaccine hesitancy among parents, with only 29 percent of parents of children under 18 saying they would get their child vaccinated right away, 32 percent would wait and see, 15 percent saying they will only vaccinate their children if schools require it, and 19 percent saying they would definitely not get their kids vaccinated.
“Experts say that vaccinating churn will be key to ending the pandemic, but how can they convince parents who are unsure about that?” asked Brown, introducing the Ousley family, mom Heather, 13-year-old son Samuel, and 15-year-old daughter Elliannah. Samuel is at higher risk from Covid-19 because he has a rare liver disease.
Heather confirmed that she could not wait to get her children vaccinated. “I would be Team ‘get them vaccinated from the very beginning,’” she said, describing the “stress and concern” she had had about any of her children, but especially Samuel, potentially getting infected and further endangering his liver.
“So I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to do so,” she said, “and when the news broke last week, it was just this overwhelming sense of relief that this is — you know, we’re not to the end of the marathon yet, but we can see the finish line, and it’s really close.”
“And did you talk to your kids about it?” asked Brown.
“Yes. I mean, first thing, I was very loud. It was like 6:00 am, I was very loud and I woke a lot of people up,” Heather replied, laughing.
Samuel then weighed in, saying that he was “quite excited” to be able to get the vaccine, and how “it’s going to be a huge weight off our shoulders.” He described the caution he had to observe over the past year to minimize his risk.
Once he’s vaccinated, Brown replied, he’d be able to get some of those freedoms back and let his guard down a little more.
Brown then addressed his sister, Elliannah, and asked her what she thought about getting vaccinated.
“I am very excited to know that we can be getting vaccinated,” Elliannah replied, before trolling her little brother: “I was told that Sam was high risk from the very beginning, and I worry about him, because he is a bit of an idiot.”
“Oh no!” their mother exclaimed, putting her hand over her face, as everyone laughed.
“Oh, my gosh,” Brown laughed. “I love this. If you could expand on that?”
“They love each other very much,” Heather said with a smile.
“I have a brother and we give each other a hard time, too,” replied Brown, still grinning, “and I love that you did it live on national television. I love it because it’s so real because — you’re concerned about your brother, right? And you know he has an underlying condition and for me, I have concern for people in my family and they’ve done things before they were vaccinated, I’m like, what are you doing, I worry about you. And so it’s natural that you felt that way.”
“Yeah,” Elliannah replied, explaining that knowing they could now be vaccinated “takes that weight, I guess, the anxiety off because having a vaccine helps, it just helps everyone.”
Brown asked Heather, who is the president of her local school board, how she was encouraging other parents to get their children vaccinated.
Heather shared how people in their community had been so great to support them when Samuel was very ill, by bringing meals and offering other help, so she viewed the vaccines as a similar opportunity to help protect other kids in the community who might be vulnerable, perhaps from cancer or cerebral palsy, or teachers who are immunocompromised.
“So, the lower we can get the number of unvaccinated people, the more security all of those of us who have a family member that we worry about, the more security we’ll have,” said Heather. “Hopefully that will help them see the connection about how it’s something that they can do to keep our whole community strong and safe.”
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