LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It has been a little more than a week since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age. Since then, thousands of children have rolled up their sleeves and taken the shot. But finding and scheduling the vaccine is not the only challenge some parents are facing.
Like most children, 6-year-olds Mackenzie Korte and Ben Hartson weren't thrilled about getting the vaccine. But both are excited about what being vaccinated will allow them to do.
"It's going to be Christmas, and we are going to have a lot of fun," Mackenzie said.
"Like going to my grandma's house and not having to wear a mask anymore," Ben added. "And also being able to see my cousin because she also got the vaccination."
Since being approved by the FDA, thousands of children have been vaccinated. Kimberly Hartson, Ben's mother said she's hated having to tell him that he can't do things because of a lack of vaccination.
"We've been waiting for this for a long time. We're really excited that he is vaccinated," she said. "He might get invited to a birthday party, and we would have to decide if it was safe. And now, he will be able to do more things."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1.9 million known cases among 5- to 11-year-old children, 8,300 hospitalizations and at least 94 confirmed deaths.
"This is a big step in helping us get back to normal," said Dr. Erik Korte, a laboratory director at Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory, which has tested more than 500,000 people for COVID-19.
But Korte said vaccinating children could mean a happier holiday season.
"Not only will kids be able to spend more time with their grandparents, they're going to be able to keep their grandparents safer," he said.
There are still parents and children with some concerns, but the nation's top health officials have said this is one of the most thoroughly reviewed vaccines ever, and Korte agrees.
"We have never had a vaccine with more eyes on it than the COVID vaccine," he said. "There have been 7.3 billion doses dispense worldwid. We know so much more about this than we do any other vaccine in history."
To find and schedule an appointment for your child, click here.
Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.