When can children get vaccinated? There's a new timeline

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There's a new timeline when it comes to getting kids the COVID-19 vaccination.

The White House says it may be next year until young kids can get the shot. Teenagers may not have to wait as long. Vaccine trials for young children ages 6 to 17 are starting soon, but how safe is the vaccine for kids?

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"I'm comfortable having them got to school but definitely would be interested in getting them vaccinated as soon as it's available," said parent Ashley Syme.

Syme is a busy mom to four young kids living in San Francisco. She's hopeful her family can get the vaccine when it's their turn. But the wait may be long.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force says it's pushing the vaccine timeline back for elementary school kids until after January 2022. High School students could be vaccinated in the fall.

It's based on when research trials on children will finish up. Some are just beginning. 300 kids in the UK as young as 6 to 12 years old are enrolling in a small Astrazeneca vaccine trial thru Oxford University. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are expected to start trails for this younger group in the spring.

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Since the coronavirus started spreading across the globe in late 2019, scientists have been looking for a vaccine. Now that vaccines are proven, it will ultimately be up to each state to determine who will get the vaccine, and when?



Dr. George Rutherford from UCSF assures parents the vaccine will be safe.

"Parents have concerns about getting kids vaccinated against everything, this is more heavily studied, it uses new technology which is safer," said Rutherford.

San Francisco Pediatrician, Dr. Lisa Dana says parents of her patients are already asking for the vaccines, a safeguard for when in-person learning resumes.

"I do not think they'll be released until they are safe, I trust they'll be safe when they're available," said Dana.

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Not all parents are convinced.

"To me, I believe they came up with this method of a vaccine too soon, I'm just not a believer," said Maria Gil from Brentwood.

Some doctors say while immunizing children may be important for herd immunity, it should not be a prerequisite for returning to the classroom.

"Once teachers are immunized, I think we do not need to wait for kids to get immunized to get them back to school," said Dr. Alan Schroeder from Stanford Children's Health.


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