PHILADELPHIA - Pfizer announced Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12, a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall.
"As a parent, I would like to wait to see what’s going on until it’s proven that it’s really safe for the kids," said Iwan Soetiono.
He is undecided about whether he’d let his 12-year-old son Peter who he says has special needs get the shot when available.
Even if it would be a step forward in getting more kids back in school in the fall.
"I would like my kid to go back to school again in person so they can socialize with other kids but on the other side but I’m still concerned about social distancing and about the vaccine too like I said if it’s proven safe for the kids I don’t mind," he said. Pfizer’s vaccine is right now available to people 16 and older.
The study used 2,260 volunteers who are 12 to 15 years old. It found in preliminary data no Covid cases in fully vaccinated kids compared to 18 among those given dummy shots Pfizer reports.
"Remember kids don't tend to get as sick as adults but they can spread it and we don't want to risk grandma or grandpa with a child, adolescent, or a college student coming home and hasn’t' been vaccinated, introduce the virus," said Dr. Mike Cirigliano.
The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.
"I don’t think children should be guinea pigs and say oh well let’s see what could go wrong," said Daniel Steelman.
"My thing is no matter what some parents aren’t probably going to send their kids back to school ever again," she said to be honest for you."
The study also found kids had side effects similar to young adults, especially after their second dose. Pfizer will seek approval from the FDA in the coming weeks to allow emergency use of the vaccine starting at age 12.
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