INDIANAPOLIS — Young Hoosiers could soon start rolling up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Thursday, Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency approval for a shot geared toward kids 5 to 11 years old.
It could take a few weeks to weigh the risks and benefits before an independent panel meets and makes a recommendation. Then, it's up to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a final decision.
As parents stood in line at The Children’s Museum Thursday, waiting for their chance to get a free flu shot for themselves and their kids, the Pfizer vaccine news was not far from their minds.
“I’m really excited for it,” said Stephanie Allen, speaking about the possibility of getting the vaccine for her two kids. “My husband and I are both vaccinated, but we’re worried still about our kids being sick. We don’t want them to be a statistic."
She’s not taking any chances with the flu, either. That’s why Allen brought her kids, Will, 6, and Libby, 9, to get their flu shot at Thursday's clinic hosted by Riley Hospital for Children.
“One year, we didn’t get it and she had pneumonia, and I will never miss the flu shot again,” Allen said.
Stephanie Calhoun had the same idea for her children, Elena, 5, and Caleb, 7, even though she worries about bringing them in large crowds while they’re still unvaccinated for COVID.
“This is probably the riskiest thing we have done, us coming here,” said Calhoun.
That’s why, as soon as it’s available, Calhoun says her kids will also be getting the COVID vaccine.
“I trust the science of the vaccine. I’m not a scientist, but I believe in doctors and researchers, and they’re saying it’s safe, and I believe it’s safe,” Calhoun added.
Those familiar with Pfizer’s studies and clinical trials agree.
“The science is out there and people are working hard to make it stop, and I think that’s what we need to do. We need to do everything we can to halt COVID,” said infection preventionist Jaime Redkey with Riley Hospital.
Redkey says the research shows it’s OK for kids to get other vaccines and the COVID shot close together.
“You can actually get the flu and COVID shots at the same time,’ said Redkey, who points to Pfizer’s clinical trials showing the vaccine is safe for kids, even as they’re still growing.
“It’s an exciting step for the vaccine and hopefully, when they meet in October, it will get approval...emergency approval by the FDA,” said Redkey.
Allen is certainly hoping so and said she knows plenty of parents who feel the same way.
“Everybody wants things to get back to normal, and for me, this will help,” said Allen.
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