Youth as young as 12 are now getting vaccinated for COVID-19 here in Manitoba.
For the most part, people in their late 20's and early 30's are currently getting the jab, however, some youth were able to get relatively early appointments and have already been vaccinated.
With the age of eligibility below 18 years old, many parents are currently discussing the possibility of vaccination with their children.
Aicha Mearon is 12 years old and she has already received her first shot. Her father John says before that decision was made, they talked about it as a family. He says he and his wife Vicky let Aicha decide for herself.
"We talked about what the vaccine can do not only to protect my daughter but also to protect our family and friends as well as our community. She was a little bit nervous because we have some allergies in the family so we did go through that with her and she was still accepting for us to book the appointment."
Aicha says she is the first of her friends to be vaccinated and was even able to get it before her mom.
"I encourage anyone to get it because it makes everybody else safe and I want to keep myself safe and my family safe so I decided to get it. I also don't want to get COVID and if my mom gets COVID she would die so that is also one of the main reasons I really wanted the vaccine. I was really happy to be involved in getting the vaccine."
John says his wife Vicky has asthma so the dangers posed by COVID-19 are heightened in their household. He notes they have heard nothing but support from friends and family, but they do understand it is a more contentious issue in other households.
Meanwhile, Kellyjo Penner says her boys are 22, 18, and 16 years old. She notes all three were excited to be vaccinated as they want to get back to regular life. She says her youngest son in particular really wants to have a normal graduation next year and if this will help us get to that, he is in.
Penner says she didn't want to pressure her kids into it.
"I know they can make their own decisions and I am not going to get mad at them if they decided not to. But I said 'who are you protecting?' It was just a tough call but we said ultimately that decision would be theirs and they said 'well we've always gotten vaccinations, why wouldn't we get this one?"
Conversations like these are happening all over Manitoba.