US health officials give final approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11

Coronavirus

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – The director of the CDC called Tuesday a ‘monumental day’ in the fight against COVID-19.

A CDC panel approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 under an emergency use authorization.

If shipments go as planned, shots could go into arms this week. While health experts call this a game-changer, parents have mixed emotions.

Joseph Scheppers pushed his 2-year-old daughter Nara on the swing with one arm, the other is sore from his booster shot. A mild side effect, he says is worth it to protect his little girl.

“If she was five and was eligible we would get it, I mean we might wait for a little just to see how things are going but we are feeling pretty safe about it,” explained Scheppers.

While she may have to wait a little longer, millions of school children now are eligible.

The two-dose vaccine is a third of an adult dose. Studies show it’s about 90% effective

“The side effects of the vaccine are similar but less than in older people so the side effect would be a sore arm at the injection site and beyond that fatigue and headache were the most common in the day or two post-vaccination,” said Karen Dahl, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with Valley Children’s Hospital.

Dahl says this is an opportunity for parents to protect their children ahead of the holidays, and keep them in school.

“I would really encourage people, we know enough about the vaccine and we know enough about the safety of it and we also know about the long term consequences of covid 19 on the individual and the family and the vaccine is safe and effective so we should vaccinate as quickly as we can,” said Dahl.

While the vaccine has become a contentious issue among some parents… Scheppers believes everyone has more in common than they realize

“I just hope people don’t demonize each other about this, people get real upset, I get upset but we have to take a step back and just remember everyone is trying to do the best thing for their kid and let them make their decisions the best they can I guess,” Scheppers said.

Valley Children’s says it hopes to begin offering the vaccine to children five to eleven by this Thursday.

You can make an appointment on myturn.com or by calling your health care provider.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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