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Parents React To Pfizer Announcement Of Vaccine For 5-to-11 Year Olds

4-year-old Max Martinez getting tested at the school district COVID-19 Testing Center in Chula Vista, Sept. 20, 2021.
Nicholas McVicker
4-year-old Max Martinez getting tested at the school district COVID-19 Testing Center in Chula Vista, Sept. 20, 2021.

The news of possible COVID-19 vaccinations for children 5- to 11-years old has caught the attention of parents who want to keep their children safe.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that its vaccine is safe for children in that age group. The drug makers say clinical trials show the shots appear to generate a robust immune response much like the results in adults and teens.

Parents React To Pfizer Announcement Of Vaccine For 5-to-11 Year Olds
Listen to this story by M.G. Perez.

The Chula Vista Elementary School District has 28,000 students across its 46 campuses who could qualify for the vaccine if it is approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

RELATED: COVID Vaccine For Kids Ages 5 To 11 Is Safe And Effective, Pfizer Says

For the next two weeks, schools in many South Bay districts are closed for fall break. But a public COVID-19 testing center remains open in what is usually the boardroom of the Chula Vista school trustees. It was converted in late July when classes started.

Kendra Peters brought her young son, Max, to be tested for COVID-19 Monday because he’s had a sore throat the past couple of days. Two of her other children at home tested negative for the coronavirus, and she’s determined to have them all vaccinated.

“We want to protect our kids," she said. "It's scary out there with the Delta variant. The faster the FDA approves we know it is safe and we are in.”

Not all parents are ready to have their children vaccinated.

Student COVID-19 Testing

Jaqueline Gonzalez is a single mother raising her two daughters. She herself is not vaccinated. Both her children would be eligible for vaccinations as students at Vista Square Elementary.

“When it’s not fully FDA approved and in emergency status, I don’t feel comfortable. The worst case scenario is that I would remove my children from their classrooms,” she said.

If approved by the FDA, the Pfizer shot could be ready for children under the age of 11 by Halloween.

Corrected:
EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story misidentified the testing center at the Chula Vista school trustees' boardroom as a vaccination center. KPBS regrets the error.