‘They’re super excited’: Local families eager to get their kids vaccinated

SPOKANE, Wash. — A hug from grandpa and grandma—that’s one reason why Jennifer Brake’s kids want to get the COVID vaccine.

“They’re super excited to get vaccinated. For them, it’s going to see grandma and grandpa, that kind of thing. Being able to feel a little more freedom with your family,” she told 4 News Now.

Christy Claeson wants her daughters to get vaccinated so everyone can get back to normal sooner.

“They just want to go back to being able to see their friends and hang out with their friends have a normal every day, go back to school activities,” she said.

RELATED: US FDA authorizes Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for use in people ages 12 to 15

The FDA just gave emergency authorization to use the Pfizer vaccine for use in kids ages 12 to 15. Now, the CDC’s advisory committee needs to approve it before it goes into arms. They’re set meet on Wednesday.

It’s another step that gives peace of mind for some families wanting to protect their kids a little more during the pandemic.

“So many people over the last year have been praying, hoping that a vaccine would come about, and now that there’s one here,” Claeson said. “I feel very thankful there’s the kind of science and technology that has allowed the vaccine to come to fruition.”

Though some may be wary,  health officials say the vaccine is safe for kids.

Dr. Michael Barsotti, a neonatologist and head of the Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, says COVID cases are lower in kids compared to adults, but it’s still possible they can contract the virus.

“They tend, in general, to get less sick. They tend not to need hospitalization and they tend to spread it less than adults do,” Barsotti said. “That, of course, is very different than saying they don’t get sick. They don’t come into the hospital. They don’t die and they don’t spread. Kids can get sick from COVID, kids can die from COVID, and kids can spread COVID.”

While masking and social distancing are ways to help slow the spread of the virus, Barsotti says families should take advantage of the things that can help even more.

He says it’s still important for kids to get vaccinated.

“If we have an effective and safe way to prevent the disease, we should take advantage of that. And, that is the vaccine,” he said.

Brake tells 4 News Now she left the decision up to her kids in whether or not they wanted to get vaccinated.

“It’s their bodies. They all said they wanted to get it, wanting to keep everybody else safe,” she said.

That ticket closer to normalcy, to be able to hug their loved ones again or see their friends at school with no restrictions — that’s the vaccine.

“Now that at least a couple of us are fully vaccinated, I can hug my mom and I’m all excited about it,” Brake said. “Like, why wouldn’t people want to get this?”

Next month, the FDA will discuss authorizing the vaccine for children younger than 12.

Pfizer is currently the only vaccine that can be administered to people 16 and older. Both Johnson and Johnson and Moderna are still only approved for people ages 18 and up.

In some clinics, people under 18 can get the Pfizer shot without a parent present, but they need to check with the clinic.

Spokane Public Schools just announced a few clinics in its schools in the next few weeks. The district says parents do not need to be there with their children and can give an approval while signing up.

RELATED: Spokane Public Schools holding student vaccine clinic at high schools this week

READ: Washington not yet weighing school COVID vaccine mandate