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Billings doctor recommends vaccine for younger children, pending approval for Pfizer

Pfizer COVID vaccine.jpg
Posted at 9:04 AM, Oct 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-09 11:04:25-04

As Covid-19 cases among kids continue to rise, Pfizer is asking the federal government to approve its COVID-19 vaccine for children from five to 11 years old.

"One of the ways that we're going to have less of this COVID spreading around is to get more individuals vaccinated," said Dr. Susan Petersen, St. Vincent Healthcare family medicine medical director. "And so to open that up at that age really should help."

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Petersen recommends that children ages five to 11 receive the vaccine.

"There's rare cases where you wouldn't recommend that a child could get the vaccine," Petersen said.

And the dosage will be smaller.

"It'll be a third size of the adult doses," Petersen said. "They would also do a two-shot series and it'd be about 21 days or more apart from the first to the second."

Parents at Broadwater Elementary School talked about their plans if Pfizer gets the approval.

"Just trying to be patient and wait, but I'm excited and I'm hopeful and personally I don't have hesitancy about a vaccine," said Rebecca Noell,

"Me and my husband are definitely pro vaccine," said Sarah Smith. "I think it's very important. For our children though, honestly we're undecided. It's really a hard topic."

Some parents are concerned about possible side effects.

"I'm a bit hesitant," said Mikinzie Fraser "Most of my friends and family have the vaccine. And that's great. I think that's fine. But I'm just not too sure about children yet."

"I don't know why they need to have it," said Caleb Nichols. "He's five years old. I think he's had (COVID) and he's perfectly fine without the vaccine."

"If you do have questions as a parent whether your child should get the vaccine, talk to your child's provider about that," Petersen said. "And that way you can review personal concerns and get a comfort level with it."

Both Pfizer and Moderna are studying even younger children as well down to six months old, results are expected later in the year.