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While Canadian health authorities have approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 12 and up, experts say parents shouldn’t assume their child wants the jab. Dr. Kathryn Birnie, a clinical child psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Calgary, told that children may be hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine and says parents need to address those concerns before booking them an appointment. “One of the things we can do as parents is to ask about what their concerns are,” Birnie said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “Having a conversation helps to understand where they’re coming from, and understand what those concerns are.” Birnie said teenagers may be hesitant to get the jab for some of the same reasons that adults are, including possible side effects after vaccination, the unknown long-term effects, fears over needles, and concerns around the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. She added that having these concerns is expected with a new vaccine.

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