COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer Vaccine Authorization Welcomed News for Many Parents

"I’m not going to gamble with my son's life and my family’s life, and that’s why I made the decision," Thelma Fernandez said.

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Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine could be given to kids aged 12-15 as soon as this week.

The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use status to the Pfizer- BioNtech vaccine for use in that adolescent age group.

And for parents like Thelma Fernandez of Miami Gardens, it’s a relief.

"I knew as soon as the Pfizer vaccine was approved and available for my son, I have no doubt that I was going to get it for him," Fernandez said.

Fernandez’s 12-year-old son Jacob suffers from seizures and has autism. She says she’s been waiting for a year to be able to give him the best protection from COVID-19 available.

"I’m not willing to take a risk and gambling to see if he gets it, bad or not. I’m not going to gamble with my son's life and my family’s life, and that’s why I made the decision," Fernandez said.

Other South Florida parents who feel the same way are encouraging their teens to follow suit.

“I really want my 15-year-old son Matthew to get the vaccine," Erica Rolf said. "Ultimately, it’s up to him. My family wants to do their part to eradicate the virus and end the pandemic once and for all.”

The FDA granted emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine in kids ages 12 to 15, clearing the way for states to get middle school students vaccinated before the fall.

Pfizer reported that the vaccine was 100% effective in a clinical trial of more than 2,000 adolescents.

The CDC is scheduled to meet Wednesday to review the shot for kids and is expected to give the green light.

New vaccination sites at high-traffic places such as Dolphin Mall and Miami International Airport continue to open up across Miami-Dade County.

We should know more by the end of the week where 12 to 15-year-olds can go to get the shot.

Mothers like Fernandez will be one of the first in line with her son.

"It was a family decision as to what’s best for all of us," she said.

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