COVID vaccine timeline pushed back for children

Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 8:11 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - When will children be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

And once they are given the green light, will you allow your child to get it?

Many medical experts say the only way herd immunity can be achieved is if children are vaccinated.

Chelsea Maier is a mother and also works in health care. She’s received both doses of the vaccine. When it comes to her daughter Addison getting vaccinated, she said she’s on board.

”Knowing some of the short-term and as we are learning some of the long-term side effects of COVID, I just don’t want her to have to deal with some of those things in her life, particularly some of the respiratory problems,” Maier said.

But, not all parents are convinced. Many of them sounding off on a social media post asking if they would allow their child to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Many say they wouldn’t, citing too many unknowns and not enough research.

Children make up about one quarter of our population, and for the U.S. to reach herd immunity, about 70-to-85 percent of the population must be vaccinated.

”I think ultimately it will be really important for children to be vaccinated, once the vaccines have been appropriately studied,” said Dr. Kris Bryant, an infectious disease specialist at Norton Children’s Hospital/UofL.

The vaccines available from companies like Pfizer and Moderna have been tested in adults; scientists say it works for them.

At the moment, kids are not getting the COVID vaccine because the companies making them haven’t completed the necessary trials.

”Pfizer, I understand, just wrapped up a study in children as young as 12, and Moderna is also studying their vaccine in kids as young as 12,” Bryant said. “Once that data are analyzed, then studies will happen in younger children.”

The White House Coronavirus Task Force said it’s pushing the vaccine timeline back for grade schoolers until after January 2022. High school students could be vaccinated in the fall. An added benefit to the delay is that that by the time the vaccine gets to children, there will bee several months of safety data which is closely monitored by the CDC.

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