Officials administering vaccines to kids ages 5 to11

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Nearly 28 million children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots and parents now have to decide to get them immunized or not.

The FDA, CDC, and local doctors all recommending kids start rolling up their sleeves to hopefully put an end to the pandemic, and some kids in Michiana have already begun the process.

“I’m happy because when I get my second dose I’ll be fully vaccinated and I feel like it was a good choice because it helps other people and if everyone gets vaccinated that’s how we can stop coronavirus from spreading more,” said nine-year-old Eren Rahman, who received his first dose Wednesday at the St. Joseph County Health Department’s walk-in vaccine clinic.

“We’ve always known that both our children were going to get vaccinated when the time came, we have an amazing doctor at the South Bend clinic who is really pro-vaccine, pro-keeping kids healthy so they’ve always been on schedule that way,” added Sarah Kubinski, a parent who took her 11-year-old to get vaccinated Wednesday morning.

Kubinski said her sixth grader James was the final member of their family to get vaccinated and the third kid in line early Wednesday morning at the St. Joseph County Health Department’s clinic. But some parents ABC57 spoke with weren’t as eager to hop on board.

“I’m not doing it, I feel like if I don’t have to do it, they don’t have to do it. It’s all those people with different opinions how people feel about it. I don’t feel like it’s a good thing, I don’t at all,” said George Gandy, a parent of five young kids.

70 percent of Hoosier parents who participated in a study said they’re hesitant about getting their kids vaccinated because of potential side effects, with nearly 50 percent concerned about vaccine safety.

The Pfizer vaccine for younger kids is just 1/3 of the regular dose given to those 12 and up, one of the many reasons a local health expert said she's advocating for the vaccine’s safety and encouraging parents to get their kids the shots.

“We’ve seen that they remained safe and highly effective in these tween and teenage groups. Now the vaccine that has just been approved which is the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 is also in the studies that we have so far has been very safe, it’s been effective and we know that that vaccine is actually lower dose too,” said Dr. Christina Barnes an Allergist and Immunologist at the South Bend Clinic. “We are recommending them for kids..."

With infections and hospitalizations in those age 19 and younger increasing in both Indiana and Michigan, health officials on both sides of the state line have strongly encouraged vaccines for all those now eligible, and for parents to reach out to their primary health care provider with any questions.

The South Bend Clinic isn’t administering vaccines to that younger age group just yet, but the St. Joseph County Health Department vaccine clinic will go through the end of the week which you can register your child here.

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