Families across Tampa Bay are finally getting the COVID-19 vaccine for their children.
By the numbers: Nearly 45,000 children aged 5 to 11 got their shot last week when smaller doses of Pfizer arrived in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
- Reporter Chris O'Donnell talked to a Palm Harbor family excited to get their 9-year-old, Felipe, vaccinated after almost two years of missing parties, playdates and school since he is immunocompromised.
- "He is terrified of needles, but I can’t remember a day when he hasn’t asked us when the vaccine is coming," Felipe's father, Mark Hobraczk, told the Times.
But not all families are as eager as the Hobraczks.
- Only 27% of U.S. parents want their young children vaccinated as soon as possible, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey last month.
- A third said they definitely would not vaccinate their children, mostly because of possible long-term side effects.
The risk: Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, has occurred in some people after receiving the vaccine.
- But it mostly affects adolescents — and its rare occurrences are usually mild, the Times reports.
- Plus, the CDC, FDA and American Academy of Pediatrics agree that the risk of permanent heart damage from COVID-19 far outweighs the chance of developing myocarditis from the shot.
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