KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tuesday's vote to recommend Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages five through 11 is a big step in the fight to end the pandemic.
Members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 14-0 to recommend the vaccine to younger kids.
Vaccine shipments are already arriving in Kansas City, Missouri.
Doctors at Children's Mercy Hospital said they received vaccines Monday morning and will start putting on mass vaccine clinics as early as this weekend.
For parents like Joanna Bramlett, it's a moment she and her family have been waiting anxiously for.
"I think back to 20 months ago, and if you had told me that it would be almost the end of 2021 before we would be having this conversation, that would’ve been difficult to digest," Bramlett said.
One of Bramlett's sons, who is 9-years-old, has a blood clot disorder that puts him at higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19.
She's thrilled he'll soon have the chance to get vaccinated.
"We’re really looking forward to some additional protection for him, and for the rest of our family of course but mostly him," Bramlett said.
Bramlett said her 7-year-old son is also excited to join the vaccinated ranks of the U.S. Recently, Bramlett said he spoke to her about his excitement.
"I'm very excited to get vaccinated because it means I will be, he said, at less risk for getting severe illness from COVID-19, and it means I'll have less of a chance of passing it to somebody else," Bramlett said. "And of course I'm stunned and happy and kind of amazed that my 7-year-old could articulate that."
Bramlett said she's relied on information from her family's health care providers.
It's the move doctors like Dr. Jennifer Watts, chief emergency management medical officer at Children's Mercy Hospital, hope families will make if they have concerns about the vaccine.
"I do believe that parents will make the best decision for their own family and their own child, the biggest ask that I think I have is that they have factual information in front of them and they are getting that information from trusted sources," Watts said.
Watts said she anticipates a large group of families getting kids vaccinated right away and others trickling in after.
For parents like Bramlett, she hopes families get their kids vaccinated to not only protect them but also kids like her son who needs all the community protection he can get.
"I feel really confident that people will, and that the future looks a little bit brighter in the near term especially for our kids," Bramlett said.