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Central Coast prepares to vaccinate children for COVID-19

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) The COVID-19 vaccine will soon be made available for children ages 5 to 11 and there are mixed feelings among parents.

The White House made the announcement on Wednesday that children will be able to get vaccinated at local pharmacies, with their pediatricians, and possibly at their schools.

"There hasn't been enough time for enough studies," said Cecilia Conner.

Cecilia Conner is a mother of five children and three under the age of 11. Conner is not vaccinated and will not be vaccinating her children any time soon. According to Conner, parents should have the right to choose when it comes to making medical and health decisions.

"I would just hate to go ahead and tell I'm gonna vaccinate my children and then something comes, they have a reaction to it," she said. "Because, for one, there have not been enough studies and I just don't want to have my child be a guinea pig."

Jesus Merino took his two children today to get the flu shot. Merino has already been vaccinated against COVID-19. However, when it comes to his kids he’s not fully on board.

“I think it's a bit early for them. I'd like to wait a little longer to be sure to see how the children start to react," said Merino.

But on the other hand, there are also parents who argue it's time for kids to also be vaccinated. Maria Lopez is a mother and also a grandmother who said she is glad that the vaccine will be available to minors, especially since it is difficult for children to keep their masks on.

“I think they are thinking correctly because kids also need to protect themselves all the time," said Lopez. "They’re at school, we take them out on the streets, so what better way to be protected than to get the vaccine.”

The Salinas City Elementary School District said they’re preparing for this through education and will have a virtual town hall for parents tomorrow with health experts to address any questions or concerns.

In a statement to KION, the district said in part, "I think it's important that we offer the parents and guardians of our students as much science-based information as possible when it comes to vaccines, and thus we are turning to the experts in our community, like Dr. Carpenter, to provide it."

The Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is still pending to receive approval by the FDA for emergency use.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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