HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Children ages 5 to 11 could started getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as early November.A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee is meeting Tuesday to consider recommending emergency use authorization of the low-dose Pfizer vaccine, followed by a vote by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Ryan Light with Greenbrier Family Medicine says this is an important step.
"As we can get our children protected against this virus, I think it is important to get vaccinated,"Dr. Light said.
A review by the FDA found Pfizer's pediatric vaccine is nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, with the benefits outweighing the risks of the most serious side effects.
But Pfizer officials not only have to convince FDA advisers - they have to convince parents.
"I’d do it in a heartbeat. It's for his own best interest and our own and the safety of others," Curtis Dixon, a parent, said.
Dixon’s young son is only 4 years old. He says he will be taking his son to get the COVID-19 vaccine when he turns 5.
If the FDA formally signs off on the two-dose vaccine, kids ages 5 to 11 will be able to get shots at a pediatrician's office and even schools.
For one father, he says he’s hesitant for his young daughter to get the vaccine.
"My daughter is 10, and we don’t intend upon getting her vaccinated against COVID, although she does have her other shots to go to school," said Gary, the parent of a young daughter.
His reasoning behind the decision:
"I just feel like the likelihood of her getting sick or potentially dying from it is relatively low," Gary tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head. "If it were to become mandatory for a school attendance, that’s something we would consider, but at this time, it’s a no for us."
Dr. Light says the vaccine being available to more people can help curb the spread of the virus.
Related: More people in Hampton Roads are now eligible to get their COVID-19 booster shot
"The more people we can get vaccinated, the better off we’ll be."