Children and the COVID-19 vaccine: parents on vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — When it comes to vaccines for children, Pfizer is one step down, with several more to go.

According to Assistant New Hanover County Health Director Carla Turner, kids ages 5 through 11 could get a vaccine as soon as next week.

At one-third the regular adult dose, Turner says the vaccine has proven extremely effective on kids.

“They were shown in studies to be 90.7 percent effective at preventing illness,” she said, “which is phenomenal.”

Vaccines for children 5 through 11 cleared one hurdle Tuesday, when and FDA panel recommended it for emergency authorization use.

And though the FDA, CDC panel, CDC director, and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services still need to approve it, the vaccine is on many parents’ minds.

Some, like Rita Perini, are strongly opposed.

“They’re more resilient to stuff than adults are,” she said. “And they don’t know enough about it. I do not want my grandchildren vaccinated, I do not want my grown children vaccinated.”

Others, like Amber Stepnoski are excited to complete the set, getting the shot for every member of their family.

“I say better safe than sorry, Stepnoski explained. “I’m actually just excited. I’m excited to hear that we did the five. And hopefully, maybe at the beginning of the new year we’ll have the five and under.”

Mother, Sidney Phoenix worried the vaccine wasn’t studied enough, an admitted anxiety over the shot’s side effects.

“That makes me pretty nervous. I’m not going to lie. There’s been a lot of side effects and stuff with the vaccine for adults, I can only imagine what that would put children through,” said Phoenix.

Though it’s a widely held concern in the Cape Fear, Turner said according to the FDA, the vaccine studies were in depth. By making this decision, their conclusion was the reward outweighed the risk.

“This vaccine for this age group did go under any less rigorous testing than any of these other vaccines,” said Turner. “They all have gone through the same rigorous testing that any vaccine or new drug has to go through before it’s approved.”

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