In classrooms across the Bay Area, school districts are doing everything they can to keep students safe but one key piece is missing in the fight against COVID-19: vaccinations for kids.
Congressman Ro Khanna says that has many parents worried about their child's safety.
"I've heard from thousands of parents in Cupertino, Fremont and Sunnyvale who are concerned about sending their kids back to school, kids who don't have a vaccine," Rep. Khanna said. "Of course, as a parent of young kids, this concern is personal for me to."
In a letter to the FDA, the American Pediatrics Association says pediatric ICU numbers are rising due to the Delta variant and the potential risk of the vaccine in kids outweighs the heightened risk of the variants.
Along with more than 100 members of Congress, Representative Ro Khanna is calling on the FDA to lay out a timeline for vaccinating kids under 12.
"Every parent knows, the pediatrician often knows best," Rep. Khanna said. "America's pediatricians are saying it's time to get the kids vaccinated and to move expeditiously while considering the safety."
Despite lower pediatric COVID cases in the Bay Area, UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong agrees and says vaccinating kids will help prevent a rise in cases like those taking place Florida and Texas.
"The fact that we've used this intervention in millions and millions of people around the world so far, at least puts us in good standing," Dr. Chin-Hong said. "It's not like we're using this in kids for the first time ever in a population."
Dr. Chin-Hong says Pfizer is set to request emergency use from the FDA for kids in late September and the request is based on studies taken over six months with double the amount of normal trials for vaccines.
He says vaccinating kids is the best way build a wall of immunity around our population.
"It's going to give parents, teachers, school administrators and public health leaders and politicians confidence that when are kids are in school they are going to be safer because they are going to add another layer of protection," Dr. Chin-Hong said.
Congressman Khanna hopes the timeline will come from the FDA after Labor Day.
Take a look at all of ABC7's Building a Better Bay Area stories and videos here.
VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine
Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Should vaccinated people get tested if exposed to COVID-19? CDC explains
- How to show proof of vaccination in San Francisco or anywhere in California
- Here's everything you need to know about COVID-19 booster shots
- Everything to know about your 2nd Pfizer or Moderna shot
- Can a workplace require the coronavirus vaccine? Here's what we found
- CA COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: See your status here
- Map shows every Bay Area vaccination site
- These CA counties are way ahead in vaccinations
- MAP: See how many people are vaccinated in your ZIP code