BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — 18 million children under five are the only group unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but soon, that is likely to change.
"These children will now, especially those of high risk, have the opportunity to move through the world with more protection from serious illness,” Doctor Rachel Kaufman of Buffalo Pediatric Associates said.
Two vaccines are set to become fully approved. The Pfizer vaccine is three doses and the Moderna is two; Dr. Kaufman said they're both safe and effective.
Dr. Kaufman said this is exciting news and it’s coming at the perfect time as Erie County's community level is low.
"That means our children will have an opportunity to get vaccinated and not get infected while their waiting for protection to kick in."
She said while numbers are low, it is important to vaccinate your children; Dr. Kaufman said re-infection can cause problems for kids, including loss of taste and smell.
"That's a tragedy that doesn't have to happen. It doesn't imperil their life, but it definitely imperils their quality of life,” Dr. Kaufman said. "It’s wonderful that not as may kids are getting sick as adults, but the number of kids getting sick is very real."
Danielle Kinsman, owner of Jumped-Up Jellybeans Daycare Center in Buffalo said many parents she speaks with say they are not going to vaccinate their children.
"Most people are returning to normal life,” Kinsman said. “So, most of my parents will not be getting the vaccine [for their children], they feel like their children have been fine this whole time, what is the point?”
Kinsman said her daycare still has COVID-19 safety precautions, like not allowing parents in the building, so she will not be mandating the vaccine.
"I don't want to force someone to do something they're not comfortable with for whatever reason they have,” Kinsman said.
Dr. Kaufman said the rate at which the vaccines were released is not cause for concern.
"The actual process of science was not actually sped up,” Dr. Kaufman said. “It was the resources allotted to it and the administrative features around it that were sped up."
Now that the vaccines for children under five are approved by the FDA, they will go to the CDC for final consent; that could happen as soon as this weekend.
The Biden Administration said it has ten million low dose vaccines ready to be distributed throughout the U.S.