Eastern Carolina parents await 12 and under vaccine authorization

Many kids headed back to school in the fall will still have to wait to be vaccinated.
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Many kids headed back to school in the fall will still have to wait to be vaccinated.

Moderna and Pfizer began trials for vaccines for kids under 12 back in March. The FDA said emergency authorization for the youngest population could come in early to midwinter of this year.

“Potentially we could see age 5 to 11 start getting vaccines as soon as October, maybe November,” said Wes Gray, the Health Director for Martin, Tyrrell and Washington Counties.

He said kids have different bodies and immune systems to study, which is why the authorization takes longer.

Plus, the FDA requires double the time spent on safety data for kids than what was needed for adults.

Pfizer told NBC kids are split into different age groups for the trials. A vaccine will likely be approved for 5- to 11-year-olds, then 2- to 5-year-olds, and finally kids 6-months to 2 years.

“I’m in the same boat. I have a 5-year-old that I’d love to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, but that’s looking like it’s going to be late 2021 to early 2022,” said Gray.

In the meantime, parents enforce precautions with their kids, like wearing masks and social distancing.

“We are very impatient to have our 9-year-old vaccinated so that our whole family will be vaccinated,” said Kylene Dibble, a mother in Greenville.

“I just feel like you have half the world doing what they want, and they’re not even thinking about how their actions could be affecting these 0 to... 11-year-olds,” said another mother, Amanda Black.

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