By Mika Rotunda

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children 12 to 15. Local experts and some parents are excited for this long-awaited decision to be made while other parents say they need more research to feel comfortable vaccinating their children.

As the US steadily strive to move our population to herd immunity from COVID-19, local experts and some parents have long-awaited the recent FDA decision to be made. 

Rachael Tucker is a supporter that’s eager to get her child back to a more normal way of life, adding, “I was super excited, my fifteen year old has been home for over a year now.”
Local Internal Medicine Doctor, Gaurav Malhotra also voiced his support, “I love it and it’s about time. The kids have been waiting and they’ve been playing it safe for their parents and their seniors so it’s about time that they feel as empowered as we as older adults have.”
Other more skeptical parents who were not surprised to see the FDA approve this remain part of the population that recent studies have shown are apprehensive. Kimberly Davis says in her family, “We’re going to try to give it as much time to see where the government goes in terms of the FDA putting these back into those longer-term studies.” Many like her feel there’s not enough data to make a long-term decision that may negatively affect their children’s long-term health.
When asked if it is safe to vaccinate children in this recently approved age group, Dr. Malhorta believes “it is safe. Millions of doses have been given. [Officials have reported] hardly any side effects that were of significance. And amongst those who were not vaccinated…so many deaths.” 
This comes as a relief to parents who are in the high-risk category. Tucker says her kids “wanted to do everything that they could to protect me. So, now they get to do everything again. They are just beyond excited.”
Davis, conversely wants to continue a more natural approach. She says “from the beginning, [I] have believed that, even from a therapeutic standpoint that we’re better off with a stronger immune system to fight anything that we get. So, we kind of take a really holistic approach to all of this.” She adds that the priority for youth to receive this vaccine should not be considered an emergency, citing, “you have an emergency order here on this vaccination, to go out to our most vulnerable population. Which it has. We’ve taken care of that, so we have now — this standing emergency order for a distribution of a vaccine to a population that’s not experiencing emergencies.”
Dr. Malhorta says we are all participants in the solution though. “Every part of the pool that has not been immune and can become a host of the virus should be blocked. And say ‘hey, let’s protect you, let’s protect you and let’s protect you’. This way we will all form a shield like the Greek armies used to do against their enemies. Because we’re all in it together.”
CW44 News At 10 will provide further updates as further developments are made available.