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Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works in kids aged 5 to 11, parents and health experts weigh in

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Monday morning, Pfizer announced its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children five to 11. The dosages used in those shots are about a third of what adults are given.

Pfizer says it will submit this data for federal approval.

“We have been patiently waiting for this news,” said Wichitan Jessica Wilson. “My daughter has wanted to get the vaccine when the rest of us got ours. She was born prematurely and gets sick easier than others so we have had our hands full doing our best, in our opinion, to keep her safe in the meantime.”

“I feel really hopeful that the vaccine will be authorized soon and that my daughter will be able to get it and then for her baby brother to be less of a concern because he can’t get vaccinated yet,” said another mother Ksenya Gurshtein.

The Pfizer announcement comes at a critical time for schools dealing with COVID outbreaks. For example, the Wichita Public Schools District says it has had more than 1,700 cases since August.

“My kids have actually gone through the quarantines for exposures. It’s been really hard honestly,” said mother of two, Tina Gutierrez.

Ascension Via Christi pediatrician Dr. Amy Seery believes having vaccines available for young kids will ease this burden.

“Reduced amounts of testing times and quarantine or even getting sick and then being in isolation, and always having that worry then what will be the impact of having had this virus later on in life,” Dr. Seery said.

Enthusiasm over the potential of a vaccine for those five to 11 isn’t shared by all.

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting my kids vaccinated just yet. I think there still needs to be a level of information released on it, and the side effects, and we need to see what side effects there are,” Gutierrez explained.

The list of side effects has not been released yet.

Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne expects that to be released soon.

She wants parents to trust the process meanwhile.

“Through the process that we know that occurs before something is given emergency use authorization is that it’s gone through a lot of trials and is shown to be safe.”

If you are a parent with kids in this age group and have questions about the vaccine, Dr. Seery suggests now is the time to get those answered instead of waiting for it to be approved.

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