MADISON, Wis.— A Madison-area teen is thrilled to hear Pfizer’s new younger age vaccine safety announcement — the survivor battled her own deadly disease — the Oregon girl hopes her constant fear of catching COVID-19 will one day also become a thing of the past.
In 2019, Phoebe Yancey learned she had a successful battle with a malignant stage IV brain tumor. Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin shared her Emmy award-winning story that same year. It highlighted her positive spirit and a special 'miracle cure' non-alcoholic cocktail made in her honor.
"I was very happy that we can finally move on from this and live like a normal life again," 13-year-old Phoebe Yancey said following the difficult ordeal.
But just when life was starting to return to normal, 2020's pandemic forced her school into a hybrid mode with limited socialization.
"Gets annoying when you have to be stuck in a house all day," Phoebe said of the rough experience.
It's why she wants her vaccine now more than anything.
"Like if I can get the vaccine as soon as I can and my friends get it, then we can start more often in person instead of on Facetime or something."
UW Health Pediatric Infectious Disease Dr. James Conway says the results of the early adolescent Pfizer shot study offers a good fit for most teens.
"The important thing about the studies is that, you know they reaffirmed what we thought they would do... Kids are going to develop good immunity and that these vaccines are going to protect against illness," Dr. Conway said.
He hopes hesitant parents, teens and tweens talk about the vaccine since it could mean safely reopening summer camps and schools.
"We've really been excited about the opportunity to start immunizing middle school and high school kids and this is going to be sort of that next step in getting us there," he said.
Meanwhile, Phoebe looking forward to her age category of 12-15 opening soon, so she can enjoy extended family visits.
"Yes, and we won’t have to stay six feet apart," she said.