In a matter of weeks, people as young as 12-years-old could be given the green light to roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine. However, some parents are still unsure about whether its a good idea.
Fremont resident and father, Dave Brown says his family wants to protect his 13-year-old daughter because she has a pre-existing health condition that makes COVID-19 even more dangerous.
"I’d be 100 percent comfortable having my daughter get vaccinated," he said. "In addition to protecting her and our family, I think we all look at it as doing our part to help the community."
According to NBC News, unlike Brown, more than 25% of parents are not ready to let their children get a COVID-19 vaccine. Some parents are worried about the long-term effects.
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Stanford Pediatrician Dr. Alan Schroeder thinks it's very natural for parents to worry, but said for teens, the virus is more dangerous than the vaccine.
"I want to try and reassure parents that based on what we know right now, it seems like it is a very safe and highly effective vaccine," Dr. Schroeder said.
Pfizer's trials in the 12 to 15 age group showed the vaccine was 100% effective in stopping symptomatic infection.
Dr. Schroeder explains that side effects are similar to adults', but may be better tolerated in kids.
He also said that health experts have heard about fears that the vaccine could negatively affect kids' development or fertility, and said parents should be worried.
"There’s no biologic reason to suggest that that would be the case at this point."
Bay Area mother Shruti Mulay has confidence in the vaccine, and supports her 14-year-old getting it.
"Getting the vaccine for her will just make us a lot more comfortable in her getting back to regular life, meeting friends, going back to school," Mulay said.
Parental approval is critical in moving forward with vaccinations for kids considering anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent with them at the time of vaccination.
The FDA is expected to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for 12 to 15 years old next week with the goal of vaccinating as many as possible before the next school year.