DENVER — Colorado state health officials say a quarter of new COVID-19 cases are among children between the ages of 0 and 19.
For Dr. Amy Duckro, an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente, it’s important for parents to consider getting their children vaccinated when they become eligible.
"A lot of times in kids, the infection may be not as severe. But if we’re talking about spread to people who are more vulnerable, we have to make sure that we’re vaccinating everyone in our communities, and they’re very much a part of that," Duckro said.
Among parents, the decision to vaccinate their kids is mixed.
"I am in the group that is completely against vaccinating or injecting an experimental drug in my children," said Trina Watson, a mother to a 13- and 15-year-old.
"I am so excited to get my daughter vaccinated," said Maggie Hawkins, a physician assistant with Park View Pediatric and mother of a 13-year-old.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, less than a third of parents say they’d get their child the COVID-19 vaccine right away, and 32% say they’d wait to see how it works. The rest are against the vaccine altogether.
"To me, with the science behind it and how well it has been tolerated in adults, I really feel that, to me, it is a scientific no-brainer for her," Hawkins said.
But fo Watson, whose children have all their other vaccines and already had COVID-19, the risk doesn’t equal the reward.
"We don’t know the effects. We don’t know the harm. Children in this age group are still developing mentally and physically, and we just don’t know enough," Watson said.
By early next week, the FDA could extend its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s vaccine to ages 12 to 15.
Duckro says while having questions is normal, it’s important to get answers from health professionals.
"The way that we will be able to stop the spread of the virus and the pandemic from continuing is to be able to be vaccinated," Duckro said.
Still, it will come down to each family’s personal decision about their futures.