COLUMBIA - For some parents, the possible authorization of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is great news.
"I have been waiting for this. I want my children to be safe when they go to school," Courtney Jamison, a Columbia Public Schools parent, said.
Vaccine advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met Tuesday morning and recommended the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
According to Pfizer, the vaccine is 90.7% effective against COVID-19 in children ages 5 to 11. The data showed its COVID-19 vaccine was safe and generated antibody response.
MU Health Care pediatrician Christopher Wilhelm said the vaccines are safe, and parents should vaccinated their children after talking to their doctors.
"These vaccines are going under legit testing and as the data comes out, it shows that is safe," Wilhelm said.
Some parents say the vaccine is still a developing process, and they do not trust it yet.
"Please do not experiment with our children. Children are at extremely low risk of getting COVID," Amy Alvo said during the advisers' meeting.
"I have eight children, and five of those children are between the ages of 5 and 11, so I will vaccinated them after talking to their doctor," Alvo continued.
During the FDA meeting Tuesday, Andrea Kline-Tilford, the president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurses Practitioners, said they encourage the FDA to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11.
"Right now, we relied on masking, physical distancing, hygiene and surround our children with adults who are vaccinated," Kline-Tilford said. "Without other options, this strategies were acceptable but are not a solution."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said since many children are vulnerable to the virus in school settings, it's vital to use preventative measures.
"In my mind, the most important thing right now as we work to get our cases down, as we work to get our children vaccinated, is that we continue the masking to keep our children in school," Walensky said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The FDA will now take the vote under consideration. Vaccine advisors for the CDC will meet next week to discuss whether to recommend the vaccine for those ages 5 to 11, and the final word will come with Walensky.
If Walensky gives the go-ahead, vaccination could begin next week for kids ages 5 to 11.