Parents Respond to CDC Endorsement of Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine for Children: NPR

Parents Respond to CDC Endorsement of Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine for Children: NPR


A 10-year-old high fives pharmacist Colleen Teevan after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech children’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.

Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images


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Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images


A 10-year-old high fives pharmacist Colleen Teevan after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech children’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.

Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images

Overnight stays. Birthday parties. Long-awaited family get-togethers.

These are some of the activities and gatherings parents announced to MediaFrolic that they wanted their children to be enabled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after a formal recommendation of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 .

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky made her recommendation Tuesday evening, just hours after a panel advising the CDC unanimously voted in support of the vaccine for the age group and days after the Food and Drug Administration approved its use for that age group . The latest milestone in the pandemic makes around 28 million children in the US eligible to receive the vaccine at a lower dose than adults.

Live with less fear

Many parents, including Eric Nichols and Nell Hathaway, felt relieved and hoped this would be another step towards normalcy. Their daughter Harper is 5 years old, and although Nichols and Hathaway are both vaccinated, they say they still feel restricted as a family until everyone gets their vaccinations.

“You can’t eat in restaurants or go to the children’s museum here because of the risk,” says Hathaway. “It just really limited their lives.”

This also includes not being able to see the family. Nichols says it has been two years since they saw his side of the family in Ohio. But they plan to make the trip from Olympia, Washington, this year, and Nichols says it will be “a very big day if we can hug them”.

Hathaway says he lived in constant stress from the pandemic for almost two years. Not all will go away, but she looks forward to being less afraid once Harper is vaccinated.

“It’s really important to see family in Ohio, and it’s kind of scary,” they say. “We’re going for Thanksgiving this November, but we really hope we’ll at least get the first shot by then, because the relief of our security is only severely limited when it has it.”

Part of that relief came Wednesday morning when they were able to secure an appointment for Harper for next Monday.

Natasha Greaves is holding her daughter Laila Greaves, 5, after Laila received a Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday in Shoreline, Wash.

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Natasha Greaves is holding her daughter Laila Greaves, 5, after Laila received a Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday in Shoreline, Wash.

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Families with children under 5

The latest vaccine approval and CDC guidelines mean some families may be fully vaccinated. But in many families, not all children are old enough to receive the vaccine.

Mabel Cordero Leathem has a 6 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. She says she and her husband have followed the news closely up to this point and are excited to have another family member vaccinated soon.

Cordero Leathem says she looks forward to giving her daughter the childhood rite of passage, which is an overnight stay with a friend (whose family is also vaccinated).

“You know, you can have game dates … but for me the idea of ​​having another child [from another family] at my house, you know, prepare them breakfast, share our air … that’s the next thing you can accomplish, right? And it’s just so much fun, “she says.” I’m ready for that. ”

The family will remain cautious about their son, who is not yet eligible for a vaccine, says Cordero Leathem. But this current phase will give your daughter “that little bit more freedom” to enjoy her friendships without so much fear.

The parents who want to wait

While some parents plan to vaccinate their children as soon as possible, others plan to wait a bit before planning those vaccinations.

A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that parents’ opinions on vaccination vary widely among the 5-11 year old age group. Almost a third of parents said they were eager to secure a vaccine for their child in this age group once approved. Another third said they wanted to see how the vaccine works in this age group before making their own appointments. And the last third of parents said they don’t plan on giving their child the vaccine.

In Greenville, NC, Heather Gilbert and her husband, who works in family medicine, are more likely to fall into the second group of parents waiting to see how the vaccine performs in a larger group of children, especially when it comes to side effects how myocarditis goes, a form of heart inflammation. The side effect has been shown to be rare after COVID vaccinations, with the CDC reporting 877 confirmed cases in people under 30 years of age with no deaths.

“We just want to wait for more populations to be captured and screened to make sure the side effects – the adverse side effects – don’t outweigh the benefits of the vaccine,” says Gilbert.

Gilbert says she supports parents who want their children vaccinated right away, but that the risk calculation for their family is a little different.

Both she and her husband are fully vaccinated and the couple’s two daughters, ages 6 and 7, are home schooled. Gilbert says they wear masks indoors and all of their game dates are outside. But overall, they are not in indoor environments with large groups of people.

The family belongs to a large church, but because of the lack of masks on parents and children, they continued to attend virtual services, says Gilbert.

She says she’d like to get her girls back to personal church sooner rather than later and hopes to revisit the conversation about COVID vaccinations at the start of the new year.

“We know that vaccines what they are given have a pretty quick response time, so it shouldn’t take that long when people vaccinate their children to see if there is a significant amount of side effects or not.” “Says Gilbert. “I hope we can revisit this issue in early January after a few hundred thousand children have been vaccinated and a larger population has been studied.”

For this story, we reached out to our audience and heard from more than 3,000 parents about what they plan to do to vaccinate their children aged 5-11 and from parents who have children are not yet vaccinated.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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