By the end of this week, elementary school kids could be eligible to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC’s advisory panel is scheduled to meet to discuss vaccines for kids 5 to 11 years old on Tuesday. The CDC Director is expected to grant authorization shortly after.
For some families, it’s a reason to celebrate. However, other parents aren’t so sure.
Connie Perkins has three kids. Her youngest is six years old.
“We have been waiting to see more data come out. It’s been nine, ten months now. There’s plenty of data for us to know it’s not a choice we want to make,” said the League City mom.
A recent survey found 27% of parents with kids five to 11 years old want the vaccine right away. The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor found 33% of parents are in the "wait and see" category, 30% will not get their kids vaccinated and 5% will only get their kids shots if required.
“Families do come with many questions. I appreciate the fact they have questions, because we want to make sure we’re doing things as safely as we can,” said Dr. Kristen Sexson Tejtel, pediatric cardiologist with Texas Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Sexson Tejtel says one of the biggest concerns among parents is myocarditis, or heart inflammation, after the vaccine. She says the risks of the virus far outweigh the risks of the vaccine since more than 1,000 children have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at Texas Children’s Hospital.
“The myocarditis seen with the COVID vaccine is much more mild that what we see with COVID, and the COVID sequalae we see in kids. I think that’s the most important thing,” the cardiologist said.
She says myocarditis after the vaccine is often treated with over-the-counter medicine like ibuprofen or Motrin.
But many parents, like Perkins, have made up their minds. Her children will not be vaccinated.
“I’m not taking that chance, not on me and not on my kids,” said Perkins. “You need to have all the information and informed consent. If you have that and you feel that’s right, by all means do what’s right for you and yours. This is what’s right for me and mine,” said Perkins.