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Schools hoping Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 will be 'game changer'

Children ages 5 to 11 would receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine 21 days apart, but the dose is one-third the size given to those 12 and older.

INDIANAPOLIS — With Pfizer seeking approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11, elementary schools are hoping it could be a game changer.

In Lawrence Township, students testing positive for COVID-19 will need to quarantine at least 10 days. Students who are close contacts will also have to quarantine for 10 days.

RELATED: When will COVID vaccines start for kids? Updated timeline after Pfizer's FDA request

"I hate telling kids that they have to go home because they were a close contact. I hate telling kids they have to go home and can't come back because they have COVID," said Mandy Pardue, Lawrence Township's nursing coordinator. 

Credit: WTHR/Rich Nye
Sunnyside Elementary school nurse Sarah Hodson

Children ages 5 to 11 would receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine 21 days apart, but the dose is one-third the size given to those 12 and older.

Pardue feels the approval of the vaccine for those children would make a huge impact on learning. Students who are vaccinated with no symptoms don't have to quarantine, meaning a new group of younger kids who get the shot would likely miss less school.

"I do think it's a game changer, just because I would love not to send somebody home on COVID protocols, or you know because you were exposed to somebody who had COVID at lunch or something like that," Pardue said.

Credit: WTHR/Rich Nye

RELATED: COVID shots for younger kids: Answering top questions parents may have

Sunnyside Elementary reports less than five positive COVID cases this school year. Right now, less than 100 students are currently in quarantine across all Lawrence Township Schools.

Sen. Young supports child vaccine

U.S. Senator Todd Young supports vaccines for kids 12 and under. In fact, the senator said if the vaccine is approved by the FDA for use in younger children, he wants his own kids to get the shot.

"It's really remarkable and so I think to the extent that parents are comfortable having their children vaccinated, that's a good thing. We, of course, should not only allow that, but encourage that parents make that decision," Young said Thursday.

The senator said he doesn't support federal vaccine mandates, saying it should be left up to state leaders. 

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