Local parents have enthusiasm, concern for use of Pfizer vaccine in children

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Pfizer announced Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12, a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall.

Winnebago County Board Member Angela Fellers is a mother of three who says she’s happy to hear Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is reportedly 100% effective for children 12 and up.

“I’m excited to have my children hug their grandparents again, and I’m excited for us to be contributing to our community and making sure we’re not carriers and helping with the herd immunity,” she said.

Onie Patrick, a mother of four, says she isn’t as excited.

“It hasn’t been around long enough, and I don’t want to put that into my kids because I don’t want, in the future, a couple years down the line, this came up, ‘well, the COVID vaccine could have potentially [given a complication] to your child,'” Patrick said.

Dr. William Renk, of SwedishAmerican, says the results of the Pfizer study are encouraging.

“Everyone talks about the whole herd immunity thing and in order for the United States population to get to that 70-75% [immunity], you have to do it with kids, so they can get back in school, football, choir, whatever they’re involved with to get back to a normal life,” said Renk.

Fellers said as soon as her 11-year-old, Charlotte, is old enough, she’ll definitely get the vaccine.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a fully vaccinated family, as soon as those are available and open to children,” Fellers said.

Patrick believes there’s still too many unanswered questions about the vaccines’ safety.

“My fear, really, is the long term effects,” she said. “It was a rushed vaccine, any way you look at it.”

Dr. Renk said, “It’s not like we’re going to start vaccinating kids tomorrow, but it’s preliminary good news. I suspect it will continue to be that way, and if it does, I’ll definitely recommend it to my patients.”

Dr. Renk recommends each family to their own research and use reputable information sources to help determine their decision.

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