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Iowa parents react to FDA announcement on Pfizer boosters for kids 5 to 11

"I think it's such an easy way to keep our kids healthy and safe," said Erin Young. "I do think this is something we will learn to live with."

IOWA, USA — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week expanded eligibility for Pfizer's CODID-19 booster to children five to 11 years old.

That announcement had two metro moms both excited and nervouis. One is Laura Castelline, who has a seven-year-old daughter named Lucy. 

She signed her up for homeschooling at the start of the 2021-22 school year due to the rising COVID cases back then, no mask mandates in schools and Lucy not being eligible for the vaccine. 

But in November, Lucy became eligible and received the vaccine. 

Laura said once her daughter was fully vaccinated, she allowed her to go back to school in person in December. 

"For her, especially, life has gone just right back to normal."

The recent FDA news, however, has her on the fence. Laura said giving her daughter the booster shot will be a family discussion, but she will ultimately listen to the medical experts.

"Generally speaking, if we go to the doctor and we say 'Hey what do you think about the booster?' and they say, 'Yeah, let's give her the booster', we give her the booster."

Though Laura is still deciding on if she'll get the booster for her child once it's offered, another mom, Erin Young, said she plans to get her kids boosted when it's time.

"I think it's such an easy way to keep our kids healthy and safe," Young said. "I do think this is  something we will learn to live with."  

Young said getting her kids, seven-year-old Coraline and five-year-old Charlie, boosted can help keep their summer plans intact.

"At some point this summer we will probably take the kids to the Omaha zoo …and visit my brother in Chicago," Young said.

Dr. Ravi Vemuri with MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center told Local 5 that when it comes to vaccines, having boosters is a common thing and sometimes a vaccine will require more than one. 

"It's not uncommon in the history of vaccines to require more than one dose," Vemuri said. "There are a lot of vaccines that require two or three doses, there's some that even require four doses. So that's not totally unheard of." 

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Local 5 did reach out to CVS, Walgreens and Hy-Vee to ask when they are administering the booster shot already to kids 5-11. None of them currently are. 

The full replies for CVS and Walgreens are below.

CVS: "We’re prepared to offer children ages 5 through 11 the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot at select CVS Pharmacy locations currently carrying this vaccine following ACIP and CDC guidance and approval."

Walgreens: "Walgreens continues to follow guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and we look forward to additional information regarding booster doses for children aged 5-11 years. In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer recommended vaccinations to children ages 3 and older. In that time, Walgreens has extensive experience administering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible children in authorized age groups and is the largest pediatric vaccine provider in the pharmacy channel. 

We remain committed to providing our patients access to the COVID-19 services and medications they need, administering more than 63 million vaccines and 27 million tests since the start of the pandemic, and more recently, dispensing COVID-19 oral antivirals to eligible individuals. As we move to the next phase of living with the COVID-19 virus, our goal remains the same: to provide necessary support to the communities we serve across the country."

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