BEAUMONT, Texas — On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced that pending the Food and Drug Administration and Center for Disease Control and Prevention authorization, 28 million U.S. children ages 5-11 could soon be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The FDA will hold an independent advisory committee meeting on October 26 to continue making plans for approval. The CDC will hold one on November 2.
If approved, the Biden Administration said the plan is to administer smaller doses with smaller needles. The administration wants children to be able to get vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacies, and potentially their schools.
Southeast Texas parents are having mixed feelings about the potential plan. Some think this is great news and are waiting for approval to get their children vaccinated.
“I would like to see my grandchildren vaccinated,” Iris Bowie, Southeast Texas grandmother said. “I'd rather take the risk of possible side effects of the vaccine as opposed to them getting COVID.”
Others are saying they will not vaccinate their children.
“I wouldn't want to put anything in her body that wasn't completely necessary," Bryan Longmire, Southeast Texas parent, said.
Longmire said while making vaccines available at school is a good option for some parents, he hopes it remains an option and does not become a mandate.
“If it gets to the point where they try to institute a mandate or anything like that, then I’ll probably have issues with that,” Longmire said. “But I think, you know, it's to each their own, kind of, you know, do whatever you have to do to protect your family and, if you feel that a vaccine is necessary for that, then I think it's fine.”
Southeast Texas doctors said they feel this is a great opportunity.
“It's nice to get the vaccines to them, so that they can limit the spread of the virus and cut down on the new cases that we have, cut down on mutations and variants like the delta that we just went through,” Msonthi Levine, doctor at the olden triangle internal medicine and geriatrics, said.
Levine said with the pandemic slowing down and vaccination rates increasing, he does believe there will be a mandate on COVID-19 vaccines for children.