SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield hospitals are gearing up to vaccinate a newly eligible group of people for COVID-19: 12 to 15-year-olds.

Doctor Laura Waters, a pediatrician with Mercy Hospital, said while some may have concerns about the vaccine, she recommends everyone get it.

“Pfizer’s been around the longest,” said Waters. “It’s been approved the longest. So, there is a lot of data out there. Pfizer, especially, has been studying this from the get-go for 12 and up. I feel very comfortable having my patients get this vaccine. I feel very comfortable recommending it.”

Amanda Hedgpeth, the VP of Hospital Operations at CoxHealth, said the healthcare system will have its first vaccine clinic for ages 12 and up on Saturday, May 15.

“We’re excited that now this means that many more eligible patients, eligible community members to be able to receive the vaccine. In our first hour of having our link live, we’ve had almost a hundred people sign up,” said Hedgpeth. “We know 12 to 15-year-olds, typically, aren’t getting sick from it, but we do know they can transmit it. This is what will protect these 12-to-15-year olds’ parents and grandparents.”

Children wishing to get the Pfizer vaccine with either Mercy or CoxHealth will need parental or guardian approval.