DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Parents across the Miami Valley say they have mixed emotions about Pfizer announcing its COVID-19 vaccine works in children as young as 5-years-old. Some call it a significant milestone while others believe it could be a huge mistake.
“I’m so scared for children right now, they’re being told to mask up or die, go get vaccinated or die and that’s just wrong,” said an anonymous Miami Valley parent. “Our children are not experiments and we shouldn’t be treating them that way.”
One Miami Valley parent who wishes to remain anonymous said they’ve witnessed their child develop social anxiety and other mental health concerns during the course of the pandemic. She said Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine being effective in children as young as 5-years-old isn’t good news.
“There’s no way I’m vaccinating my child,” the parent said. “I feel like COVID vaccines are way too rushed right now, my family and I have been very careful and do not want my child to be an experiment.”
Another parent sharing a different point of view said all three of her children under the age of 11 will be first in line for the vaccine if it gets emergency authorization, all to protect at-risk family members.
“I actually have a nephew that was born with a congenital heart defect and had his first open heart surgery when he was four days old, so if he got COVID and it damaged his lungs, he would not be a candidate anymore for a heart transplant,” said Kassi Kipling, a parent from Bellbrook.
Just last week, Governor Mike DeWine said nearly 30,000 students across Ohio contracted the virus in the first two weeks of school. Some parents echo the same concerns.
“I know that this is bigger than just, ‘ Oh, kids don’t get that sick,’ this is a matter of stopping it from spreading throughout the community,” Kipling said.
Health leaders say they expect Pfizer to receive FDA approval for children 5- to 11-years-old by late October. At this time, Ohio’s coronavirus dashboard shows just over half of eligible Ohioans have started the vaccination process.