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COVID-19 vaccines could soon be available for children as young as 5

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - U.S. health advisors have been recommending Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for even younger children. Child-size doses could start going out to children as young as five years old by the end of next week.

“So I’m really excited about the vaccine possibly coming available to kids,” said Megan Becnel.

“As for my children getting it at this time, I’m not for it,” said Ashleigh Smith.

Children ages 5-11 years old will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot. This step in the pandemic is creating mixed views, no different from when the very first vaccine became available last December.

“I am hesitant about them receiving the vaccine,” said Racheal Butler. “I probably will wait, but a vaccine as young as mine, I believe it will be a great advantage for our community.”

The dose for children will be a third of an adult’s vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine will be available for five-year-olds, but Moderna believes it will be more effective for six-year-olds. Becnel, mother of an eight-year-old and ten-year-old, said there are things parents don’t understand, but she knows the negative impacts COVID-19 has caused within the schools and community.

The FDA reports more than 1.9 million children under age 12 have been infected, with 8,300 hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths.

“Well, I think it’s going to prevent more places from shutting down more frequently. You’re seeing especially women who bear the brunt of childcare having to stay home from work significantly more. As we have vaccines available, that’s going to become less frequent and farther apart, so I think it’s going to be great,” Becnel said.

Parents like Smith and Butler said as more vaccines become available, they’re just hopeful parents will have a choice whether or not their children get it or not.

“If a parent chooses to do so, then absolutely, but I don’t think it’s been out long enough. I think there has been enough research and it’s just scary,” .Smith said.

“Regardless of it becoming available, I want to have peace of mind,” Butler said. “I am vaccinated, and I did well and I’m doing well, but as a parent, you want to make sure you’re extra careful.”

The FDA has bought enough doses for all 28 million children in that age group, according to the Biden administration. They’ll provide the doses in smaller packages to make it easier on pediatricians and community health centers. The FDA does not have the authority to mandate any vaccinations.

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