Vermont parents welcome news of COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds

Coronavirus

By the end of this week, children 5-11 could be getting the COVID-19 vaccine after an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend the Pfizer vaccine. 

Jamal Aziz, said his 11-year-old son, Eesa, will get the vaccine. Aziz said he was concerned about the virus spreading at school. 

“It was very difficult to get him to social distance many times,” Aziz said. “I was worried they could give each other this bad virus.”

Ryan Dieahl’s children are five and two. He said he does not have concerns about his daughter getting the vaccine. “We are fairly comfortable with the science and the reasoning behind the vaccine,” Dieahl said. “And so we are very comfortable protecting our daughter and gaining a little more freedom.”

Dr. Rebecca Bell, a pediatric critical care physician at UVM Children’s Hospital, said Pfizer’s vaccine for children 5 to 11 is a smaller dose than the one given to people 12 and older.

“It’s 10 micrograms as opposed to 30 micrograms and this is because children’s immune systems tend to have a more robust response,” Bell said.  

Bell said her six-year-old will get the vaccine, which is authorized by the FDA as a two-dose series, three weeks apart.

“By getting vaccinated we don’t have to worry about them getting sick, and instead they can get protection,” she said.

The Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics will hold a conversation about COVID-19 vaccines for children.

Some parents, however, are hesitant. A recent Gallup poll conducted last month found 55% of parents with kids under age 12 planned to vaccinate their child. The Kaiser Family Foundation found 30% of kids ages 5-11 will ‘definitely not’ vaccinate them.

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