BOISE, Idaho — On June 17, the FDA authorized the first COVID-19 shots for children 6 months and older.
The FDA approved the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for the youngest age group yet. Some parents are toiling with the decision to vaccinate their children, while others have been waiting for this moment for years.
"We heard last Wednesday when the FDA had approved it and it was actually mine and my husband's ninth anniversary,” Jessica Kerns said. "We started to cry happy tears, because - and I'm going to do it now - but it has been really hard."
Kerns brought her twin babies into the world during the pandemic. A pandemic world is all they have known. Kerns said she’s feared for their health ever since.
“It has been hard. Our kids have been sick off and on,” Kerns said. “They did get COVID in January and one of our twins got viral pneumonia in March and had to go into the hospital for three days. So, both of those have to deal with lungs, so especially after that, we were really, really scared."
Kerns has taken precautions to keep her and her family safe throughout the pandemic. She has been patiently waiting for a vaccine to come out for her babies for years. It's been eight months since the FDA gave a green light for children aged 5 and older to get vaccinated.
"It kind of trickled down to ages and then it just stopped at five for the longest time," Kerns said.
Kerns and her husband took their kids to get vaccinated just days after the vaccine became available for them.
“I do trust science for many reasons,” Kerns said. "I would rather my kids have small side effects that we can deal with and that they are alive and that they don't have crippling things from long COVID. Those pros out weight the small cons."
Kerns is aware and understands that not all parents are running to their pediatricians with the same request, but for her, it was the right decision to make for her kids.
"I totally understand the people that can't wrap their head around that stuff, why they are hesitant and they want to see how other kids would do first. I get that,” Kerns said. “It's hard. It's hard to jump off that and be in it 100%, because once it's in there, you can't take it back. I get that, but for us, it was that pros and cons list and one outweighed the other."
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