14-year-old gets COVID-19 vaccine to protect his grandparents

Lincoln Northeast freshman: "I just want to be able to hang out with them without risking spreading anything to them, or risking giving them something,"

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Thursday, local pharmacies opened their doors for kids ages 12 to 15 interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Derek Williams, a 14-year-old freshman at Lincoln Northeast, was one of the first to do so.

“I knew that if a vaccine came forward, I would want to get it because I wanted to do my part to help and do my part to help things get back to normal,” he said.

Part of Derek’s motivation to get the vaccine was to protect his grandparents and others who might be vulnerable.

“I just want to be able to hang out with them without risking spreading anything to them, or risking giving them something,” he said.

This week, the FDA and the CDC signed off on use of the vaccine for the children in the 12 to 15 age group.

Derek’s mother, Becky, is happy her son had the opportunity.

“I know was a personal decision for him, but I’m proud that he made that decision and I hope it helps keep him safe,” she said.

Derek got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Hy-Vee, which joined Walgreens and CVS pharmacies in offering the shot to teens on Thursday.

While some kids opted to get the shot right away, the company says they have seen many parents scheduling appointments for their kids further down the road.

Now that he’s gotten the shot, Derek says he’s hopeful things will return to normal.

“It really has me optimistic because if more people get the vaccine, we will be able to get back to normal and we’ll eventually be able to do school full capacity without having to really worry about COVID,” he said.

Categories: Coronavirus, Lancaster, Nebraska News, News