Hope and hesitancy among Bay Area parents as COVID vaccine for kids moves closer to reality

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- While parenting in the pandemic, protection and prevention have been top of mind for parents for the last 20 months.

As the COVID-19 vaccine for kids moves closer to reality, parents around the Bay Area are shifting focus to what this means for their young children.

RELATED: FDA authorizes COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11

For Santa Clara resident Es Esposo and son Ronan, 9, there is hope. Emergency authorization couldn't come soon enough.

"With him being a lot more aware, sometimes he'll ask questions about COVID and about how he could be protected," Esposo told ABC7 News. "He wants a shot.

Esposo said once Ronan is vaccinated, the added layer of protection will likely expand the family's ability to travel.

"We'd love to be able to reconvene traveling," he explained. "We had plans to go into Seattle or visit our friends in Austin. We all held back."

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The father of two said most importantly, the shot would offer the ability for the boys to be near older relatives without risking exposure.

"That's high on our list as far as protecting those that we love, that are elderly or at risk," he continued.

For Clarisse Junio, a mother of two, that's part of her motivation to get her oldest child vaccinated as well.

"We can visit grandparents, even great-grandparents to be able to just be mask free," Junio said.

RELATED: Santa Clara Co. prepares to vaccinate eligible children

Her daughter Elyssa turns five in November. While Junio is looking forward to that extra level of protection, she's going to wait. Junio said she wants to first hear about what reactions to the shot are being experienced by kids.

"Myself, as well as a few friends and family members, we did feel a few of the symptoms," Junio shared. "So I think that's what I'm kind of waiting to see."

Amanda Ceja told ABC7 News, there is hesitancy for her family.

"I will not be the first one in line," she explained.

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Ceja's concern is whether potential adverse effects of the vaccine will outweigh the symptoms of the virus.

"I'm a believer in science and I appreciate the work, but there's just not enough data for me to follow through at this moment," she said.

Ceja confirmed she and her husband are vaccinated, which she said provides her two children with a level of protection that she's comfortable with.

While each has a different approach to Friday's FDA emergency authorization, all agree the safety of their children during the on-going pandemic is paramount.

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