KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone 12 years of age and older get a COVID-19 vaccination.
On Monday, May 10, the FDA announced Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine had been authorized for emergency use in 12-to 15-year-olds. The CDC says widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.
One Knoxville resident agrees with the CDC and said he’s seen the results of the vaccine first-hand.
Russ Fleming said he had to take care of several family members who had gotten the virus and walked away without having any symptoms.
“I said, ‘well if I don’t get sick I’ve got to tell everybody about the vaccine because this is the test right here,'” explained Fleming.
Fleming is 64 years old and lives with his son and two grandchildren.
Their full house is usually full of energy, but then three out of four of them got COVID-19.
Fleming’s son was the first.
“Temperature had started going up real quick and he was coughing real bad. Kind of violent coughing,” he shared.
Fleming added, “the first few days after he got covid, I was wondering if I was going to have to run him to the hospital, but before he got too bad he drove himself to the hospital, and then after that, the girls got sick a couple of days later.”
Fleming had to become a caretaker for all three.
“I’d already been around all of them even without my mask,” he said.
He was worried about getting sick, but he had already received both doses of the Moderna vaccine just a few weeks before.
“I got it as soon as I could get it,” he stated. “I was kind of skeptical about the fact that they were able to get one this fast because when I was young it took years to get a vaccine ready for everyone.”
He had a few side effects like a temperature and night sweats but says after seeing his family members get the virus, getting the vaccine is a much better alternative.
“That’s why I want everybody to get the shot because you just don’t want your loved ones to get sick,” he said.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 31% of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated. 37% have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the CDC, you are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the weeks after a one-dose vaccine.