CDC meeting Tuesday to discuss vaccine approval for kids: what parents need to know

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With approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 expected to come this week, some parents have already begun contacting their pediatrician’s office to ask questions and ask about availability. 

The CDC is scheduled to meet tomorrow and Wednesday. 

If given a green light, Pfizer vaccines could be given to kids ages 5 to 12 as soon as this week.  

 “There’s a little bit of that ‘Am I making the right choice?’” said parent Beth Sprunger.

Like many parents, Sprunger is eagerly awaiting a decision from the CDC on vaccine approval for kids ages 5 to 12. 

“We’ve held off on extracurriculars,” Sprunger said.

The mother of 3 says getting her 8-year-old daughter vaccinated would be another step toward returning to normal.   

“We trust it’s what’s beneficial for our family and for our community,” Sprunger said.

“It’s just one step closer to having my child vaccinated but I’m also excited for the positive impact it will have on public health, children and other parents,” said parent and physician Dr. Michael Cloud.

While the parents we spoke to today say they will be vaccinating their kids once the CDC gives the go ahead, we know other parents might feel different. 

That’s why we spoke to Dr. Sarah Bosslet, director of primary care at Riley Children’s Hospital, to get answers to many of the concerns parents have.

“We have seen a significant increase in both hospitalization and death from COVID in children in this past year,” said Dr. Bosslet.

She says studies show the vaccine prevents 100 percent of hospitalizations and deaths in children.  

“We feel really comfortable that thousands of children were studies and tested,” Dr. Bosslet said. “I’ll be taking my 7-year-old to get his vaccine as soon as we’re able.”

Children will be given smaller doses of the vaccine than adults. 

“This vaccine is not based on weight, it’s based on age and the maturity of your immune system,” Dr. Bosslet said.

She says children should get the same dose for both shots. 

“A lot of parents will wonder if I’ve got an 11-year-old, should I wait until they turn 12 for the higher dose but you don’t need to wait,” Dr. Bosslet said.

“I am confident it is safe and effective,” Dr. Cloud said.

Dr. Cloud says parents who have concerns should talk to their doctor. 

“It would be arrogant to assume we know everything there is to know about this virus but what we do already know is concerning enough I would want to do everything I can to prevent my kids from getting the virus, which would include and most importantly, getting vaccinated for it,” Dr. Cloud said.

There are more than 1,300 sites across the state that will offer vaccines for children, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, local health departments and pediatrician offices. 

Experts say to wait until the CDC gives approval for the vaccine before contacting your doctor’s office.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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