‘We want to do everything we can to protect them’ | Physician wastes no time getting teen daughters vaccinated
Like most parents, Dr. Casey Mann and his wife, Hirut, would do anything to protect their kids.
So, when those ages 12 to 15 became eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine last week, the couple didn’t hesitate to sign up their daughters – Gabrielle, 15, and Brooke, 13 - to receive the lifesaving vaccine as soon as possible.
“We want to do everything we can to protect them, because COVID-19 is so dangerous,” said Dr. Mann, a family medicine physician at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Pawleys Island. “We definitely want to do whatever we can to protect them. We wanted to just make sure they were safe.”
And the teen girls were pretty excited, too.
“After the vaccine, I can actually do stuff we weren’t able to do before,” Gabrielle said, adding she’s eager to hang out with her friends again.
“Yeah, when we do hang out, we’ve had to be outside and six feet away with a mask on,” Brooke said.
On Friday afternoon, less than 48 hours after ages 12 to 15 became eligible for the vaccine, Gabrielle and Brooke overcame their nervousness about needles and took a step toward living their lives with less fear and more fun by getting their first vaccine dose at the Tidelands Health regional vaccination site in Murrells Inlet.
“I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends and going back to school without fear of people having their masks on,” Gabrielle said.
The girls were the last of the Mann family to get the vaccine. Dr. Mann and Hirut, as well as their three older children – Matthew, 21, Marcos, 19, and Michael, 17 – already had received the Pfizer vaccine as soon as they became eligible. None experienced any of the minor side effects, another fact that made the Manns comfortable with their daughters getting the vaccine.
“They have really been isolated, and they want to get back to seeing their friends,” Dr. Mann said. “When we told Gabrielle we were going to get the vaccine, she said, ‘Wooo!’”
Gabrielle and Brooke will be back in three weeks to get the required second dose to be fully vaccinated. Dr. Mann is eager to have the entire family vaccinated so they can visit with his parents, ages 77 and 76, once again. Over the past 14 months since COVID-19 arrived, he’s only seen them for 10 minutes, and that was at a distance.
“We don’t want to expose them to anything,” Dr. Mann said. “Getting the children vaccinated will make my friends and family feel more secure.”
And Gabrielle and Brooke will feel better, too. In the meantime, Brooke had a simple message for everyone: “Get vaccinated.”
Want to get vaccinated? Stop by a Tidelands Health regional vaccination site in Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach or Georgetown. Go to tidelandshealth.org/vaccine for more information.