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Kansas City-area parents weigh in on vaccinating kids ages 5 to 11

Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 19:47:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Tuesday, the Center For Disease Control gave the clear for the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11.

The biggest question remains, will parents vaccinate their elementary-aged children.

“I think for a lot of us, including myself, this is a very emotional day,” Dr. Natasha Burgert, with Pediatric Associates of South Overland Park said.

Burgert said this will also be an emotional decision for parents and children, but calls the vaccine approval a solution and a resolution to the last 20-month long pandemic. 

“Our kids have been dealing with masks, and have been dealing with canceled sports events, and have been dealing with mental health consequences of isolation and all these other things our kids have had,” she said. “Our kids have been living this pandemic with us and it's now our opportunity to give them their life."

One parent KSHB 41 News spoke to on Wednesday was excited to vaccinate her younger children.

“We’ve been on pins and needles waiting for the green light to go get the vaccine for our kids,” Anne Grant, a parent to three children under 10-years-old said. “Just a matter of a few minutes ago I was on Children’s Mercy trying to get an appointment.”

Burgert said the vaccine could be away to protect children as the holiday season approaches.

“It's an opportunity for families to get their kids protected before the next wave,” Burgert said. “History has shown us that after big holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas, like that's when we start to see the surges nationwide."

Dakota Vails, another parent, said for now he'll have to do more research before deciding whether or not to vaccinate his child.

“I would have to do more research on it personally,” Vails, a parent to a 5-year-old said. “But, like I said, the adult vaccine has been highly successful.”

Vails says his research will include success rates and side effects, something Dr. Burgert encourages parents to ask their children's doctor.

“It was an easy decision for us,” Christopher Mather, who secured a vaccine appointment for his kids next week said. “It would be nice to get back to normal life, to travel again, to not have fear, to see everybody for Thanksgiving, I know people are doing that — but for us, it's important for us to not be the cause of anything dire or anything bad.”

Dr. Burgert said she expects vaccine hesitancy but encourages parents to bring questions to their doctor and child’s pediatrician.