DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Children 5-to-11 years old are now eligible to receive Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine; however, local health leaders share mixed reactions on whether they think the increase in age eligibility will have an effect on stopping COVID-19 spread.

Several counties throughout the Miami Valley have already started vaccinating 5-to-11 year olds this week or will be relatively soon. Greene County, Montgomery County, and Clark County started vaccinating 5-to-11 year olds with Miami County starting next Saturday. Clark County Combined Health District’s Health Commissioner Charles Patterson believed expanding the age eligibility for COVID vaccines may not have as big of an impact as leaders previously anticipated.

“If we look at the ages of the parents of those kids who are 5-to-11-years-old, we have less than 50 percent of that population immunized so it would be hard for me to believe that we’d have a larger percentage of those kids vaccinated than their parents,” said Patterson.

On the other hand, Premier Health’s Regional Medical Director Dr. Joseph Allen is optimistic parents may change their minds with holiday gatherings rapidly approaching.

“I think we’re going to see similar results from other younger age groups,” said Dr. Allen. “It’ll be a little dicey, younger children sometimes have younger parents and different views on things. We’ll see what happens, but I expect 40-to-50 percent pretty consistent though.”

Business entrepreneur and mother, Tae Winston, said she knows parents who have not decided to get their children vaccinated while others are jumping first in line.

“I’m definitely seeing more people get vaccinated if they want to come out because they say they’re not worried after being vaccinated,” said Winston.