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Cincinnati Children's town hall addresses teen vaccine concerns

Cincinnati Childrens
Posted at 10:58 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 15:06:32-04

CINCINNATI — With a goal of clearing up confusion and cutting through misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital held a virtual town hall Wednesday night to hear directly from teens.

Cincinnati Children's estimates that just one in four eligible kids are vaccinated in the region, while kids are daily making up a larger portion of Ohio's total COVID-19 cases.

"This is the first time we were really engaging in the youth voice and how we're addressing COVID vaccinations," said Monica Mitchel, PhD and director of community relations for Cincinnati Children's.

The teens who participated had a long list of questions, including wondering how contagious they can be if they contract COVID-19 after getting the vaccine.

"What the vaccine is really, really, really great at doing is keeping you from getting hospitalized or getting sicker," said Dr. Robert Frenck, a physician at the hospital, in response.

Parents said they wish there were more chances like this for their kids.

"I think even the kids, even though they're younger, they still have a voice themselves," said Abby Kaufman, a parent. "And so it's really important that we give them a chance to speak as well."

Experts hope answering questions in a format like this can help teens feel more comfortable getting the shot, especially while cases in classrooms statewide have been high and disruptive to learning.