Parents Have Mixed Reactions as CDC Endorses Pfizer Vaccine for Kids 12 and Older

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After the CDC cleared the way for children ages 12 and up to get the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, nearly every vaccination site in the Chicago area is set to administer the shots, a big day for parents and children who are hoping for a more normal summer ahead.

Zarina Mason, who has two children, has next Tuesday circled on her calendar, as that’s when her kids will get their first doses of the Pfizer shot.

“I am 100% ready for it,” she said.

Her children have been out of school since last year, and she can’t wait to get them back into their normal routines.

“As soon as we got the email stating that they would open up for appointments, I called,” she said.

Dr. Scott Goldstein says that his practice will give out more than 500 doses of the vaccine in the next week.

“We are ready to go, and I think a lot of parents are ready to go too,” he said.

While Wednesday’s CDC vote opens up a layer of protection to more than 15 million children, not everyone is rushing to get their kids in line. In a recent survey, a quarter of all parents polled said they aren’t quite ready to allow their children to get the shots.

“What I’m concerned about the most is that there’s very little data,” parent Robb Barrett says.

Barrett says that his children have not asked for the shot, and he’s not pushing the idea of getting the vaccine on them.

A key CDC advisory panel voted Wednesday to recommend expanding usage of Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to kids ages 12 to 15. NBC 5's Lauren Petty reports.

“This vaccine came out very quickly. It came out with small tests, and we just haven’t had enough time to see what the real effect is going to be in the long run.”

Dr. Goldstein says he gets a lot of questions about how quickly the vaccine was developed, tested and released, but says that he is confident that the treatment is safe and effective.

“The answer is that as far as we know, it is very safe, very effective, and I will be giving one to my teenage daughter tonight,” he said.

Virtually all counties in the Chicago area, with the exception of McHenry County, are opening appointments up to children who are 12 years of age and older. Various companies, including Jewel-Osco, Walgreens and CVS, are also taking appointments.

“If you want the world to open up, if you want the country and Chicago to open up again, this is the way we’re doing it,” Dr. Goldstein said.

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