Some parents want more urgency in getting vaccine authorized for children

Some parents want more urgency in getting vaccine authorized for children
Some parents want more urgency in getting vaccine authorized for children
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 8:21 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Children under the age of 12 are still not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. Some parents and pediatricians take issue with that.

They want to see more urgency to get a vaccine authorized as the Delta variant surges and kids head back to class.

“It is a big concern of mine. I am even more concerned now that they are back in the classroom,” said Tracey Williams Brown.

She fears sending her seven-year-old Marcus Jr. to school in this pandemic with no vaccination available to protect him.

“I worry daily. I just don’t know how we are ever going to get over this if we can’t get those children vaccinated.”

Currently, only children 12 and older can get a vaccine. Brown says it’s time to speed up the process and help provide an extra layer of protection for kids her son’s age and younger who are also at risk of contracting COVID.

“I know nothing is one-hundred percent, but I do think it would help slow it down. You know, they’re little and their immune systems are weak. If they are vaccinated, they will have something to help if they do come on contact with COVID,” said Willams-Brown.

Local pediatrician Dr. John Gaudet would also like to see more urgency put around authorizing a vaccine for children 11 and younger.

“The rate of cases in children has practically doubled from last year to the end of July and early August,” he said.

Gaudet points out that lots of safety data is looked at and clinical trials done before authorization is granted.

“The FDA is the one that makes that determination,” he explained. “They have asked for more time, and I think they want more time in order to get more patients. There are plenty of patients and families who are enrolling their children in the studies, the safety studies.”

The U.S. Surgeon General says a coronavirus vaccine could possibly be available to those younger than 12 by the end of the year. Until then, health officials want kids to wear their masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing.

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