The CDC announced on Tuesday that the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for children ages 5-11. And Los Angeles County was one of the first places to get started vaccinating its young people. The CDC says that it has plans to ramp up to full vaccine capacity beginning the week of November 8th, in hopes of administering vaccinations to the 28 million children that it deems eligible for the shot.
Los Angeles County was one of the first to receive its vaccines and immediately set up a station for vaccinations in an East Los Angeles park. Barbara Ferrer, the Public Health Director for the county of Los Angeles, spoke about the addition of children to the list of people eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. “It’s safe for each of us. For our children and for our grandchildren. And the vaccines save lives," said Ferrer.
The CDC has issued statements declaring the vaccine safe for children and 91 percent effective in preventing the contraction of the Covid-19 virus. The statement also asserts that the vaccine has undergone "the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history." Vaccinating children will significantly lower the risk of hospitalization, long-term complications, and (in some rare cases) death.
While some parents flocked to vaccine locations to get their children vaccinated, others were a bit more hesitant. Jennifer Thornton of Los Angeles has three children between the ages of 5 and 10 and plans to wait to schedule a Covid-19 vaccine for them. Thornton and her husband are fully vaccinated, but she says she does not want to join the first wave of pediatric vaccinations.
"I just want to wait a few months and see how it goes. Yeah, there have been trials, but you never know what these vaccines can do. In a few months if there have been no big complications for kids, we will reconsider," says Thornton.
Thornton is not alone. According to a New York Times survey, only 34 percent of parents said they will be amongst the first to get their children vaccinated. While this number is higher than the 26 percent of parents surveyed in July who said they would get their children vaccinated, it still shows a large percentage of the country that is conflicted with this decision.
So, while Los Angeles is leading the charge toward getting children vaccinated for the Covid-19 virus, not all parents will choose to take advantage of this resource.