BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Teenagers may be next in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA is expected to approve the Pfizer shot for children ages 12 to 15 by next week.

“Every parent has to make that decision for themselves and talk to your doctor,” said parent Keith Wiebking.

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“I personally think it’s a good idea, but I know there’s a lot of skepticism around it,” said another parent William Alexander:

The shot proves to be incredibly effective for children, as well as for adults, said Dr. Christopher Thompson, associate professor of biology at Loyola University of Maryland.

“It’s a huge positive step that we get to vaccinate a whole new population of people,” Thompson said. “Now, I think this means we could return to some sense of normalcy in fall, maybe for some of these students who got vaccinated. Maybe, still with masks, but at least they could be with their friends, in the school system, with some extra things in place to keep everyone safe.”

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We’re still a long way away from herd immunity, which requires about 70% of the population receive the vaccine, Thompson said. But he adds, that vaccinating young people is a step in the right direction.

He suggests parents do a risk assessment and ask themselves the following questions: What’s my child’s risk of exposure? What’s the risk of their transmitting the virus? And what are the chances of causing severe disease within family or friend groups?

Graciela Kelinsky has a granddaughter who is almost 15 and a grandson who is turning 14.

“Right now, we’re vaccinating people 16 and older and the gap between 14 and 16 is not a big deal,” she said.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff