BOISE, Idaho — Parents and children flowed in and out of Albertson's corporate headquarters on Saturday to get the first round of the children's Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently gave emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old. While children and needles seldom get along, some parents took a conversational approach with their children before making a decision on whether or not to get the shot.
Sheila Fredericksen and her son had a vaccine appointment at Albertsons. She admitted her son was nervous, but it was ultimately a family decision to get him vaccinated.
"It’s one of those things as a parent, you have to weigh the risks. The pros and cons," Fredericksen said. "I met with my friend this morning who is a doctor and we talked about it. She was gonna get her kids vaccinated and I thought this was probably a good time early on to get it done right before the holidays."
That friend is Stacy Kessler, a doctor at the Veteran's Affairs Office (VA). For her family, it was a similar approach: a family-wide conversation about what they think is best.
"We’ve been talking about the vaccine for a long time, and so we were really excited when Pfizer approved it for ages 5-11," Kessler said.
Citing crisis standards of care and the possibility of rationing healthcare, the decision toward vaccination wasn't difficult to make, according to Kessler.
"It's an awful position to be in as a medical community," she said. "And so that’s why we are here for the first time we found an opening to get our kids vaccinated."
Nobody under the age of 18 has died from COVID-19 in Idaho, according to data made available on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's (IDHW) COVID-19 dashboard.
However, 7% of the reported COVID-19 cases in October were among people between 5-11 years old, according to Deputy State Epidemiologist Kathryn Turner.
"Obviously. if it wasn’t something I thought was safe, I wouldn’t be putting my child through it," Fredericksen said.
When the vaccine became available this week, these families were sure to be in the front of the line.
"Even though I’m a physician, my first job is to my family as a wife and as a mom. And that’s why we're here," Kessler said.
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