With vaccines available, metro sees a plateau in rate for youth aged 12 to 18

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The rush to get vaccinated is over for adults, and now it seems to be over for kids, too. In Missouri, the rate of kids getting vaccinated dropped.

According to the Missouri Hospital Association, only 13% of kids 12 to 15 years old have their vaccine. On the Kansas side it’s a little harder to know, but experts hope even at a slow pace the vaccinations will continue.

Nearly a month after approval for kids 12 to 18 to get the vaccine, Dave Dillon with the hospital association says they are seeing demand for shots stall out.

“There are a lot of things that could be influencing the numbers that we say, we know that and this has been true across the board, that there are portions of the population that have vaccine hesitancy, and that may be a factor as well,” Dillon said.

Dillon says families who wanted to get their kids vaccinated rushed to get it done, and now others remain hesitant, or simply don’t want to get one.

“If we don’t get to a high level of vaccination among the entire population, then when the new school year begins, we may still have restrictions. And we certainly no one wants that to be the case,” Dillon said.

Margaret Solano’s son, Nathan, is going into high school in Kansas City, Kansas. He was eager to get the vaccine.

“It was fine. I didn’t notice anything. I went to Starbucks after, and it was fine,” Nathan said.

He’s excited to go to camp this summer, which is requiring either a vaccine or a negative COVID test.

“We tend to sit at home too much, and we did it for a whole year, and he’s tired of me. He’s a young person. He’s got things ahead of him,” Solano said.

“I’m looking forward to going to camp and being around other kids, and I like being around my friends. Now that I have the vaccine we hopefully don’t have to wear the masks,” Nathan said

In Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly announced Friday half of all adults in the state are vaccinated. For kids under 18, that number is just less than 6%. Dillon says if more kids can get vaccinated the likelihood restrictions may be in place when school is back in session will go down.

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