Some Alabama parents worried about effects of COVID-19 vaccine on children

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — All Alabamians 16 years and older and who want to get a COVID-19 vaccine can do so as the state expands eligibility. 

But for some parents, there’s still a lot of hesitation when it comes to getting a vaccine for their teenagers. 

Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for 16- and 17-years-old children. But even though the state’s top doc says he’s confident its safe, doubts remain for parents. 

“It came so fast, and there haven’t been any long-term results of people who’ve had it. Therefore, I would wait,” parent John Regal said.

Regal said he’s not opposed to vaccines in general, but is cautious when it comes to his kids.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said its important parents know the vaccines are safe.

“It’s really going to be difficult to get to herd immunity if we don’t have these younger population vaccinated because there is you know a million or so kids in our state,” Harris said.

As for Regal, while he still chooses not to have his parent vaccinated, he’s not totally opposed to doing so.

“If it’s not required, I’m not going to do it, but if it’s ever required, I’ll do it and I won’t have an issue with it,” Regal said.

Meanwhile, vaccine trials on children 16 and younger have already begun, and it’s possible a vaccine could be licensed for someone as young as 12 by the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. 

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