150k COVID vaccines for 5-to-11-year olds making way to Palmetto state, parents weighing options

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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TEGA CAY, S.C. (WBTV) -Thousands of Palmetto state public school students have been quarantined because of close contact COVID cases.

Hundreds have tested positive for the disease itself. The state’s health agency is hoping the newest age group of COVID vaccine eligible South Carolinians can cut down on that. Soon, the Food and Drug Administration could give the OK for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for five- to 11-year-olds. That could mean almost all school-aged children are eligible for the shot and protected against the virus.

As South Carolina’s health agency prepares to get ready for another COVID vaccine rollout, this time for 5- to 11-year-olds, Chris Stout knows his 10-year-old is not getting it.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says more than 152,000 plus doses are coming to the Palmetto State. They are expected to arrive the first week of November, but that does not mean your kids can get the shot yet as the FDA has to give the green light.

Review Panels are supposed to meet within the next couple of weeks to discuss data and efficacy. DHEC says they are expecting that OK as early as November 4th. So what do parents need to know about this vaccine?

The shot is similar to the ones given to people 12 and older but as a reduced dose. It is a third of the dose you got. There will be the same three-week waiting period between the first and second dose.

”I’m not anti-vax I’m just anti this vax because I don’t know what’s in it,” says Chris Stout.

Chris Stout knows his 10-year-old is not getting the COVID vaccine. Stout’s three kids go to Fort Mill schools. When the Pfizer vaccine became available for his high school students, he sat down with his wife and decided this vaccine was a no-go.

”They were kind of onboard with us,” says Stout. “They are just as scared as everyone else of the vaccination.”

Stout’s kids are up-to-date on all the other vaccines but when it comes to COVID’s, he has one word for what he’d like to see before rolling up their sleeves.

”A little bit more transparency to see what’s actually in the shot,” he says. “There seems to be a little bit of secrecy around this but what’s in the shot, what the long-term effects are. Just more data.”

So Stout made the choice not to while Shannon Walton made the choice to get her kids vaccinated.

”I don’t want my kids to end up getting sick and going to the hospital and possibly die,” says Walton.

Walton’s two kids under 11 are the only ones in her family of five not vaccinated.

”I cannot wait because once my entire family is vaccinated it will just give us that peace of mind,” she says.

Walton leaned on her pediatrician to make the decision. She says she trusts their expertise enough to feel like she made the best decision for her kids and her family.

”I view my job as a parent to keep my children safe and I take my job very seriously,” explains Walton. “So I feel like the vaccine is one thing I can do to keep my children safe.”

At this point, the COVID 19 vaccine is not a mandatory vaccine like the MMR or tetanus shots. Pfizer’s shot is still emergency authorized by the FDA for those 12 through 16. If it is authorized for five-to-11-year-olds, it will be emergency authorized as well.

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