On Monday, the FDA authorized the use of the Pfzier vaccine for kids between ages 12 and 15. The CDC is expected on Wednesday to approve the move. That would set the stage for kids to get vaccinated as soon as the end of the week.
But some parents are hesitant about getting shots for their kids. A poll released last week from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that half of its respondents don’t plan on getting their kids vaccinated or will wait and see how the treatment works.
Dr. Eric Ball, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, says the best way to get out of the pandemic is to vaccinate kids.
“The biggest thing that I have been telling my patients — besides the fact that this is a safe and remarkably effective vaccine — is that COVID is not a benign disease in children,” he tells KCRW. “And sure, it's worse when older people get it. But I've seen some horrible things with kids and COVID. I've hospitalized about a half a dozen kids.”
He says most of the parents he’s spoken to are enthusiastic about vaccinating their kids, but safety remains a big issue among them. He raises the point that millions of adults have been vaccinated, and there is an increasing body of data that proves the treatment is safe.
“Getting the vaccine is far safer than rolling the dice with COVID. Even if your child does get a mild case of the disease, it also exposes other people in your family and your community to get COVID. And we need to protect everyone, not just our children.”