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Young Mainer receives COVID-19 vaccine for 12th birthday

Abbott Fisher has been eager to get vaccinated but wasn’t old enough until this week.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Not many children are excited to leave school early to get a shot, but Abbott Fisher couldn’t wait to receive his.

This Tuesday, on his 12th birthday, Fisher was dismissed early from school to visit CVS in Augusta and receive his first COVID-19 vaccine. Up until this week, Fisher had been too young to receive the vaccine. It’s a moment he and his family have been looking forward to for months.

"Growing up we talk about what we have to do for others," Abbott's father, Adam Fisher said. "Whether it’s washing our hands when we’re leaving the bathroom, that’s not for yourself that’s for protecting other people from the germs; covering your mouth when you sneeze, protecting other people from getting sick -- this is just a natural extension of that."

As of Tuesday, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is only approved for people 12 and older. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that children make up more than a quarter of all COVID-19 cases reported across the country.

A vaccine for children ages 5-11 would cover most elementary school students. Vaccinated students relieve some of the hassle and burden of contact tracing for schools. It is expected that students who are vaccinated and show no symptoms can avoid the quarantines that have disrupted so many classrooms in the past couple months.  

Pfizer-BioNTech said Tuesday that the company has submitted initial data to the Food and Drug Administration to support using its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 but the shots may not be available until November.

Abbott hopes to see more kids his age roll up their sleeve and get the shot as well.

"I really hope that they get the vaccine too because it will help you and your friends and it makes you feel a lot better." Fisher said.

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