BRAZOS VALLEY — The White House expects COVID-19 vaccinations in elementary school-aged children to be authorized as soon as next month.
The Pfizer vaccine may soon be available for children ages 5-11.
According to the Associated Press, over the next two weeks, federal regulators are meeting to discuss the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine for younger children.
The White House expects FDA approval shortly following a CDC advisory panel scheduled for Nov. 2 and 3.
Once approved, 28 million low-dose vaccines and child-sized needles will be distributed to healthcare providers across the nation.
Some parents are hesitant to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, such as Bryan mother of five, Ashley Grimaldo.
“We’ve all had the virus," Grimaldo told KRHD. "We’ve had confirmed cases, so natural immunity is very strong. For us, I feel confident enough in our immunity already.”
Grimaldo is concerned with what side effects the vaccine could cause.
She said her husband experienced negative symptoms around the time he was vaccinated this March and Grimaldo fears what the rest of her family might undergo if they were to be immunized.
“I think the risk for us is, we're fine where we are without having the vaccine," she stated.
Doctors like Dr. Jason McKnight with Texas A&M’s College of Medicine encourage any parents feeling skeptical to trust that the vaccine has shown to be safe and effective.
McKnight suggests that even if a child has already caught the coronavirus, it would still be a good idea to get them vaccinated.
“The majority of kids do have a fairly mild case of COVID if they do catch it," McKnight said. "And so it’s very possible that their immune response is not as great as what we would see with a vaccination."
McKnight pointed out that just like adults, kids may experience some side effects from getting vaccinated, such as a low-grade fever. But overall, McKnight said research shows the drug is safe.
“The data that the FDA is going to be looking at for this 5-11 year group is [from] looking at thousands of children," he explained. "And they are showing that it is mounting an immune response that we see in adults, which is good enough to prevent infection - and, that you’re also not seeing any major safety issues.”