DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– The CDC approved pediatric COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5-to-11 year olds. Local health leaders are optimistic that if enough kids get vaccinated, the holiday season may look different than last year.

“It’s not going to hurt anything, it’s probably going to have a positive benefit, I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen this year compared to last year,” said Premier Health’s Regional Medical Director Dr. Joseph Allen.

Dr. Allen is hopeful this upcoming holiday season will be different from last year now that 5-to-11 year olds are eligible to receive a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. One parent says she hopes a large amount of 5-to-11 year olds will start the vaccination process. Her nine year old child tested positive without any abnormal warning signs.

“This is getting out of hand extremely fast and this will be the driving force of spread in the community,” said Bellbrook Parent Kassi Kippling. “My oldest, his symptoms were a headache which is not uncommon for him if he doesn’t wear glasses, stomach pain which is not uncommon for him because he has constipation issues and a temperature of 99 degress.”

ODH says 43-percent of 12-to-17 year olds have started the vaccination process, and Dr. Allen is hopeful the same results will be evident for younger ohioans.

“Younger children sometimes have younger parents who have different views on things so 10 years can be a relatively big generational gap,” said Dr. Allen. “We’ll see what happens but I expect that 40-to-50 percent will be pretty consistent though.”

However, only time will tell.

“I think the immunization will have an impact, I think it will be positive but we won’t know until it’s out there,” said Dr. Allen.

Dayton Children’s Hospital says they will start vaccinating the younger group starting Monday by appointment only.