Parents weigh options after Pfizer approves vaccine for children ages 5-11

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — There’s new protection against COVID-19 for kids.

“A lot of families and a lot of young kids are wondering when is their time, when are they going to have a chance to be vaccinated and protected against this as well, and that time is now here,” said Dr. Aaron Traeger, a pediatrician with Carle BroMenn Medical center.

Leaders at the Centers for Disease Control announced Tuesday they were recommending Pfizer’s version of the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

“I do think that this is an important milestone throughout the COVID journey that we’ve been in,” said Traeger.

Now, 28 million kids nationwide can get the shot. Some parents in Central Illinois are considering their options.

“As a parent, you want to do what’s best for your child,” said Dr. Terry Ho, a pediatrician with OSF Healthcare.

WMBD asked parents on Facebook and Twitter, “Will you vaccinate your child?” We received a variety of responses.

Traeger said it’s a family decision.

“What we like to tell folks is everyone’s family makes their decision based on their family values for this, but we have no doubt about the safety or effectiveness of this vaccine for this age group,” said Dr. Traeger.

He encouraged parents of patients to have the same mindset as when they decided to get vaccinated.

“I’ve been asking them, ‘did you get the vaccine?’ And a majority of our families are saying, ‘yeah, of course, I got it. I got it to keep myself healthy and to protect my family.’ I would use that same thought process in vaccinating your kids,” said Ho.

Ho said it’s safe, effective, and proven to work. Ho said this approval is a game-changer for ending the pandemic.

“With each step that we’ve had, we’ve seen decreases in cases and loosening in restrictions,” said Ho.

He said if people have questions, they should reach out to their doctor.

Local hospitals expect vaccinations to start as early as next week. People can find vaccine information on Carle Health and OSF Healthcare.

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