EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With CDC approving usage of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children from 5 to 11 years old, the vaccination rollout is already in place and parents are facing a decision.
One El Paso parent, Joel Belarde said, he is ready to vaccinate his child.
“I think it’s the safest way to go for kids,” he said.
He expressed concern about his child spending time in school, he believes social distancing is nearly impossible to control in those circumstances.
One grandparent, Virginia Vargas said, her whole family is vaccinated and she believes it is a good time to start vaccinating children as well.
“We want her to get vaccinated and even if other kids don’t get vaccinated at least she is protected she is going to continue wearing her mask at school,” Vargas explained.
But some parents are still hesitant.
According to Ka iser Family Foundation’s study published in October, 30 percent of parents said they will not be vaccinating their children 5 to 11 years of age.
Dr. Armando Meza, chief of infectious diseases with Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso explained some parents might be hesitant due to one side effects presented during the trials of the Pfizer vaccine for younger children – a heart inflammation.
Dr. Meza said the heart inflammation is very rare.
“It is usually self limited, meaning that the inflammation goes away after a short time and the patient has a recovery that is really with no permanent damage,” explained Dr. Meza.
This inflammation can also be caused by a COVID-19 infection as well. He said that in that case this inflammation can last much longer and be more severe.
The dose for children’s vaccine is five times smaller the the one for adults.
Dr. Meza explained if you are concerned about your child getting a dose for adults by mistake to make sure you talk to your provider first and get familiar with the number of micrograms in each dose – children’s Pfizer vaccine is 10 micrograms, and adult one is 50.
Pfizer has also manufactured this vaccine with an orange cap for better recognition.
Kaiser Family Foundation study also showed 27 percent of parents are willing to vaccinate their children from 5 to 11 years old and a third will “wait and see.”
Some 5% stated they will only vaccinate their child if their school requires it.