Nadya Michel is hesitant to get her 13-year-old daughter Juliette the COVID-19 vaccine if she becomes eligible.
On Tuesday, President Biden said the administration is ready to move “immediately” if the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency use authorization to adolescents 12 to 15.
"These are kids and we're not really sure the effects later in life. I've done my research for myself, but right now, it's a little too new for kids,” said Michel.
On a conference call Tuesday, Pfizer's CEO said he expects to hear back from the FDA shortly on expanded use for adolescents.
Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Roberto Posada said, while it's rare for younger people to get severely sick from COVID-19, he recommends getting the shot if approved. He is a professor of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
They can still contract and spread the virus. He also said doctors have recently noticed an increase in younger people contracting COVID-19.
"As more adults get vaccinated, the virus has to look for somewhere to go, so it makes children more susceptible because they haven't been vaccinated, that's one possibility. The other possibility is that there's been relaxation of restrictions, more children are exposed at school or at sports events,” he said.
Biden said if vaccines are authorized for this age group, thousands of pharmacies will be ready to vaccinate them, and vaccines will be shipped to pediatricians. Dr. Posada says that will help, and he recommends parents talk to their doctor about their concerns.
"Those parents trust the pediatrician, and often it's a very long-term relationship, but I think it's important to remember that a small portion of children do get very sick from COVID-19, it's rare, but it does happen,” Dr. Posada said.
Michel said she's not opposed to getting Juliette vaccinated eventually, but feels it's just too soon.
"It's a possibility if there's more research and studies and information that will guide me towards vaccinating my daughter,” said Michel.
Dr. Posada also recommends parents with kids younger than 12-years-old to make sure routine vaccinations are up to date now, so nothing interferes with them getting the COVID-19 vaccine right away if they become eligible.