Parents and health officials react to new Pfizer vaccine data

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(ABC 6 News) – Pfizer’s announcement about their vaccine being safe for kids five to eleven is a breath of fresh air for some local parents. Now they’re just left wondering – when will they be able to vaccinate their young ones? Pfizer found that a dose one third the size of a normal dose is safe and effective for kids aged five through eleven. If approved for emergency use, it would give kids the opportunity to play in close quarters again.

Local experts say we could see this dose in use by next month. Kids can get back to playing shortly after.

"I’m no longer saying months. I’m saying days to weeks for these next steps," said Dr. Jacobson, a vaccine researcher at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center.

The FDA says they’re just waiting to receive Pfizer’s emergency use authorization request. Olmsted County Public Health is still determining the best way to distribute this new dose once it’s approved.

"Is it in a community setting? Is it in a primary care setting? Also having conversations with those providers because we know resources can be limited," said Leah Espinda Brandt, a disease prevention and control nurse manager for Olmsted County Public Health.

Ryon McCamish is a parent at Albert Lea Area Schools. He says this news means relief for his family. He has two boys: one seven and one nine. They’re both on the autism spectrum.

"It’s been a bit hectic for the past year and a half in this pandemic," McCamish said.

He thinks Albert Lea Area Schools is doing the best they can to mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19, but that doesn’t make him any less nervous for his kids.

"Having to watch every little thing my kids do…from grabbing their chest to looking for potential fevers or anything like that…It’s draining," he said.

His boys have a hard time recognizing when they are in pain or feel sick.

"My youngest had COVID back in January. It was hard on all of us. They don’t tend to understand what’s going on with their body," McCamish said.

He says news of Pfizer’s new research give him hope.

"It’s bringing relief like there is a light at the end of that very dark tunnel that we’ve been going on for almost two years now," he said.

He can finally see a way out of this pandemic for him and his family.