COVID: While some parents are eager for their children to get vaccinated, others express hesitancy

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, some parents are hesitating about getting their kids vaccinated.

The most recent poll finds a majority of parents of 5- to 11-year-olds are not in a rush to get a COVID-19 appointment for their child. Others aren't wasting any time.

"Made the appointment at 10 o' clock today and shot was in the arm at 11:30, it couldn't be easier," said Lara Burnap, who has a 10-year-old daughter.

At a Cedars-Sinai Pediatrics vaccine clinic, many parents jumped at the chance to be the first in line.

"I truly believe in the science behind this. We are just so happy to get my kids vaccinated as well," said Erica Allen, a mother of three.

But North Hollywood resident Tamar Papirian is choosing not to get her kids vaccinated.

"They've only tried it on 2,000 or 3,000 kids within a short amount of time. Is that enough? I mean, it's not enough for me," Papirian said.

Papirian did not get a COVID-19 vaccine. And the concerns she has are amplified when it comes to her 5-year-old twins, Nare and Aren.

LA County starts vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19
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Los Angeles County began offering pediatric doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to kids aged 5-11 Wednesday.


"Is that going to affect my daughter with her fertility issues down the line? Do they know? They don't know," Papirian said.

"There's a lot of misinformation about the vaccine having to do with fertility issues -- it does not," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Smit with Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Smit talks with vaccine-hesitant parents every day. When they say COVID is not a huge health threat to children, he tells them:

"Although kids don't get hospitalized as much as adults, they still can get respiratory diseases. I have to take care of children in the ICU. Some of which are intubated and critically ill. It can hurt kids. It can kill kids.

The most recent poll on parents of 5 to 11 years old finds 32% of parents say they want to wait and see, while 24% say they definitely will not vaccinate their kids.

Papirian said she hopes schools will focus on better nutrition and hygiene and not on vaccine mandates.

"I'll take it one step at a time. If I need to homeschool them, put them in a private school, whatever I need to do at this point I'm willing to do it," Papirian said.

Allen said she understands the fears some parents have, but hopes to lead by example.

"My children, who have been sort of the first ones to get the vaccination, I hope that they will see that they are doing fine," Allen said. "And that will give them the confidence to hopefully get their children vaccinated in the near future."
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