SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available for 5-to-11-year-old children in the coming days, it’s anticipated that Salt Lake County parents can begin vaccinating their young kids by November 1.
Christina Pehrson is a mother of five who said she’s having conversations with her children about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re very open in talking about the research, we have read about it as it’s been reported, and we have discussions about why people would choose to get vaccinated and not to get vaccinated,” she said. “And we feel like it’s part of our contribution [getting vaccinated] to making these diseases not run rampant.”
Her daughter, Emmaline Pehrson turns twelve in January and planned to get the shot then.
But with the COVID-19 vaccine to likely be approved for 5-to-11-year-olds soon, Emmaline Pehrson said she now plans to get the shot sooner.
“I don’t particularly like shots, but I know this is going to help me and other people around me,” Emmaline Pehrson said. “So, if I get sick with COVID-19, then I’ll still be able to do things and others won’t be endangered because of my actions.”
For Christina Pehrson, she said she looks forward to the day when her three younger children are eligible to be fully vaccinated.
“It will feel like so much less of a risk when we are sending them out into circumstances that are not socially distanced,” she said.
Milana Boss is a mother of three and said she supports vaccination but is letting her kids (depending on their age) do what they feel is best.
“[I want them] to think and read and do the research on their own, without being influenced by the media or by anyone else,” she said. “So, I have not said anything against the vaccine to my children at all.”
Milana Boss explained why she wants her children to decide for themselves.
“They should not just follow instructions without critical thinking and applying their own critical thinking skills and doing the research and know what they’re getting into and what they’re doing,” she said.
Her son, Vanja Boss, said he’s done his own research and appreciates his mother’s approach.
“For kids, it’s not risky to be serious with COVID, like many of them,” he said. “And it doesn’t just make the chance really of getting this because it’s really meant to protect you if you’re getting the vaccine and I don’t really think they need to be protected as much; mainly for people that have higher risks.”
Vanja Boss also said he’s concerned about research not having enough long-term data about potential side effects.
“I just want to be safe, you can never be too safe of something,” he said.
Because every parent has their own thoughts on the vaccine, Dr. Angela Dunn said Tuesday during a Salt Lake County Council meeting that public health officials anticipate a slower start to vaccinate this age group, just like what happened when 12-to-17-year-olds became eligible for the shot.