Parents one step closer to being able to choose whether to vaccinate younger kids

ATLANTA — Parents are one step closer to making the choice on whether to vaccinate their children who are between the ages of 5 and 11 against COVID-19.

Currently, all Americans over the age of 12 are eligible to receive the vaccine.

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Officials for Pfizer say they expect to turn over vaccine study results to the FDA by the end of September, which could see emergency use authorization for most kids by Halloween.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 5.3 million kids had tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

This new development comes as many metro Atlanta school districts are seeing a surge in cases, forcing some to return to virtual learning.

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For many parents in the metro area, this comes as a relief as they continue sending their children to school unvaccinated against the virus.

Others are not as quick to give the vaccine to their children for fear of potential side effects.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden spoke with doctors and parents on what this new development could mean for the rest of the school year.

“I will be one of the first people to sign my child up. Absolutely,” mom Kat Okwera said.

Okwera’s kids are ages 7 and 10. She says that with the school year in full swing, she and other parents with school aged children are planning on getting them vaccinated as soon as it becomes available.

“It’d be one thing if this was a small test, but you know vaccine that was done for small groups, clinical trial, a buddy country somewhere or elsewhere, this is on such a massive scale. I’m okay taking the odds,” she said.

Dr. Laura Badwan is a pediatrician and also a mother of three children under the age of 12.

“We’ve definitely been very busy since school has started back we’ve been seeing a lot of sick kids. We’ve also seen a lot of worried parents,” she said.

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While COVID-19 deaths are still uncommon among children, the number of cases among kids continues to rise.

In the last two weeks, doctors have recorded nearly 500,000 cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Doctors say that while some parents are trying to get adult vaccines for their children, they should avoid this completely. The only thing to do to protect your child from COVID-19 for now, they say, is get vaccinated and make sure your child wears a mask.