BOSTON (CBS)– State lawmakers said Monday that they’re focused on the parents who are on the fence about getting their kids under the age of 12 vaccinated. An oversight public hearing on COVID-19 vaccinations for children was held at the Children’s Museum by the Joint Committee on Public Health and Joint Committee.
“We are actively planning pediatric webinars, school-based vaccine clinics and coordinating with our partners in the commonwealth on clear communication to families,” DPH Secretary Marylou Sudders said.
During the hearing, officials said they’re also planning a statewide initiative to increase vaccination rates among students twelve to eighteen. “Which includes an education awareness campaign, leveraging key partners as well as social media as well as onsite clinics at middle and high schools and mobile clinics at health centers and pediatric practice,” DPH Acting Commissioner Margaret Cook said.
Many parents said they want to see more information regarding children who have already received the vaccine before making their decision.
“I don’t think there’s enough information for us and enough facts about the vaccination in young children,” Springfield native Shaunte Lewis said.
“We don’t know yet, we have to think about it because we have to get more information about the vaccine,” Dorchester resident Ruey Vargas said.
Moderna and Pfizer launched their pediatric trials in March. Health officials said the most important piece of data is how much of the vaccine should be administered to a child.
“We also need to monitor children for four to six months, which is longer than what we did for adults,” UMass Dr. Esteban Garcia said.
According to DPH, FDA emergency use authorization of the vaccine for children under the age of 12 could be given as early as mid-fall.