Sandie Russo contracted COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. Eighteen months later, she still hasn't fully recovered.
"I just was scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was really scared,” Russo said. “Shortness of breath, memory, everything is a fog.”
Russo also struggles with a rare disease that impacts her lungs and lymph nodes, making her immunocompromised.
“I was just recently diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis. And I believe I’ve had it for a while and they think just because of the COVID it just sort of flared up,” Russo said.
She got vaccinated for COVID-19, but still worries about getting it again. The only person in her family who isn’t vaccinated is her 10-year-old son Sebastian. He's not old enough yet. Her 13-year-old daughter got the shot.
There's some new hope for Russo. On Thursday, Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant emergency approval to administer its COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11.
“The first I hear that kids of his age are eligible I’m just going to ask if he gets it,” Russo said.
If approved, the Pfizer vaccine would be the first available to children under 12 in the U.S.
Pfizer says its research shows the younger kids should get a third of the dose now given to everyone else.
And Russo feels confident with the research. Russo doesn’t have any concerns regarding her son getting the vaccine.
“I asked all of my health care providers even before I got my shot and they were like it’s best that you get it done,” Russo said.
The FDA will have to decide if there is enough evidence that the shots are safe for younger children. An independent expert panel will publicly debate the evidence on October 26.
Russo said she's counting on approval.
"I’m constantly crossing my fingers and just hoping none of us get sick,” Russo said.