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'I have no hesitation whatsoever' | Parents hope for Pfizer vaccine approval in kids under 12 after company submits request to the FDA

Jillian Angel said her 12-year-old daughter got the COVID-19 vaccine and hopes to get her 10-year-old son vaccinated if the FDA gives Pfizer the stamp of approval.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Pfizer said Thursday it's asking the FDA for approval of its COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11. 

Back in September, the vaccine manufacturer announced positive results from the trials, which included more than 2,000 participants ages 5 to 11. 

Pfizer said kids in this trial were vaccinated with a fraction of the dose as compared to the study in 16 to 25-year-olds. 

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Christopher Ohl said we'll know more when the data comes out, but so far, it looks great.

"Kids get immune, side effects are less than the adults and adverse reactions haven’t been seen," said Dr. Ohl. 

Dr. Ohl said the FDA will likely make its decision right around Halloween as planned. 

"A great trick or treat depending on how you look at it as a kid," he said. 

Parents are anxiously awaiting a decision as they continue to protect their children as best they can. 

Jillian Angel has two children. Her daughter is 12-years-old and her son is 10-years-old. Her daughter got vaccinated and if Pfizer's shot gets approved for kids 5 and up, she plans to get her son his dose too. 

Credit: Jillian Angel

"It was not a difficult decision. I am a nurse and my husband works in the biotech industry so we just feel really confident in the FDA and CDC and researchers," she said. 

Angel said at one point she helped give out the COVID vaccine to others at the Greensboro Coliseum.

"We also want to protect our family," she said, "I have no hesitation whatsoever about giving him the vaccination." 

Michelle Colbert has a 5 month old and 2-year-old and will have to wait even longer for the data in kids 6 months and up. 

"It's frustrating because I feel protected and I feel like my youngest might be a little protected with the antibodies he got from me but my 2-year-old Rowan has nothing. So we are still basically quarantining ourselves," Colbert said. 

Colbert got vaccinated when she was pregnant with her son back in the spring. Once the vaccine for kids 6 months and up is approved, Colbert said her kids are getting the shot right away. 

"We're just hanging on and waiting," she said, "I am glad that they’re taking their time with children but it's still frustrating in a way that we're still being so careful because of this. I would like my 2-year-old to have a normal life. He's only this young once and I feel like he's been inside all his life."

The FDA will have to decide whether to give the vaccines for kids 5-11 the stamp of approval. An independent expert panel will publicly debate the evidence on Oct. 26.  

Then, the advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will come into play and decide whether to recommend the shots for kids 5 and up. The CDC will make a final decision. 

Cone Health announced it will be back with the Guilford County Health Department at the Greensboro Coliseum to give out booster doses and pediatric vaccines if it gets approved by the FDA and CDC. 

The health provider said the clinics will be on October 16, October 30, and November 13 from 9-6. They're by appointment only. Schedule an appointment at Cone Health's website or by calling 336-890-1188 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Guilford County Health Department will run a separate vaccination clinic at the Coliseum on October 16, and 30 from 9-6. Appointments can be made online at guilfordvaccination.com or by calling 336-641-7944. The coliseum site will operate similarly to how it did last Spring, providing boosters for up to 1,500 people a day, according to Cone Health.