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Pfizer vaccine may be available for children 12 and older soon

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Currently, anyone sixteen and older is approved to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Now, it is expected children as young as 12 will be cleared to get the Pfizer vaccine, as the FDA is reportedly set to approve this next group in the coming days.

Since mid-April, anyone 16 and older has been eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in the United States. In Wisconsin, more than a quarter (26.4%) of people aged 16-17 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

“Who has the highest rate of incidence of infection right now? Children under the age of 18 who are largely not eligible for vaccine,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, DHS Deputy Secretary.

That could soon change as Pfizer is awaiting approval from the FDA to expand its patient reach to include children as young as 12. Dr. Ryan Westergaard with the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases says they are eagerly awaiting the FDA’s decision.

“I think there’s a lot of reason to expect that these will be very effective as it has been for many adults right now we’re just waiting for the process to play out,” Westergaard says.

The approval is highly anticipated for some parents as well. Elizabeth Papierniak hopes it could be a step towards normalcy for the entire family.

“Usually this park is full of people were outside and everything and there’s not even moms here with other kids so I want to get back to where my kids can play with other kids.”

Papierniak says her experience with COVID-19 makes it an easy decision. She wants her kids to be protected from what she went through after testing positive.

“There was a day I thought I was going to die,” Papierniak said.

Others are still hesitant. Ashley Hansen of Eau Claire says she doesn’t plan for herself, or her children to ever get the vaccine.

“I just feel like there’s too much experimental still … I worry about the kids too they haven’t had enough time to plan like the other vaccines and that’s what scares me the most,” Hansen says.

Meanwhile, both parents agree no matter what, they hope their community will do their research and treat each other with respect.

If the Pfizer vaccine does get approved for this new age group - the Wisconsin DHS recommends, using vaccinefinder.org to make sure you are signing up for the correct vaccine.

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