Parents react to Pfizer announcing vaccine is safe for kids 5 to 11

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pfizer BioNTech announced their vaccine is safe for kids aged 5 to 11 on Monday. The data has not been published or peer-reviewed and Pfizer plans to submit it to the FDA for emergency use authorization soon.

While awaiting approval, WWAY went to Long Leaf Park to hear from parents in New Hanover County on their thoughts on the possibility of getting their kids vaccinated.

“As parents, you’re constantly weighing everything you can possibly know but I do trust the scientists that have been studying this and public health officials and the CDC and we’ll follow their guidance,” mom of three Anne Ooms said.

Ooms said her friends’ children were involved in the clinical trials and she thinks back on how the polio vaccine saved so many lives.

“We can also help slow the spread and also my kids have been at public school this year and I would love for them to be protected,” Ooms said. “I know we can’t know everything but I’ve definitely been close to stories of long covid and kids who have been hospitalized with covid so those are real risks as well.”

Nurse and mom-to-be Kimberly Defrancesco said she is vaccinated and pregnant and has had no issues. She also has friends who have vaccinated their kids that are 12 years old and older and they have had no issues.

“I’ve seen first-hand kids suffering from the aftermath of having covid and the residual effects and I think it’s great kids can now get it even younger,” Defrancesco said. “I think it’s going to be great just like the flu shot and all the other vaccines we have to get to be in school or college. I think it’s going to be wonderful.”

Not all parents are eager to take that step, mom of four Mia Dior said she is not vaccinated and she will not be vaccinating her children just yet.

“Those kids are the research. The first batch of kids that get those, they’ll be the research for that vaccine,” Dior said. “I think that maybe this is just their way of opening up that door to try to push it into being mandatory for kids to go to school and adding it to that vaccine list.”

Believing it should be everyone’s personal decision, Dior said if it does become mandatory she would choose to homeschool her children.

“I think that if everyone took the right precautions, masked up, washed their hands, social distancing, then we could just keep this under control,” Dior said. “We don’t need a shot, we just need common sense.”

WWAY reached out to several pediatricians and infectious disease doctors for comment. A few said they did not want to comment until the FDA has had time to review the data and make a decision. Others were very busy and not available for comment.

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