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Iowa City parents discuss whether or not they plan to vaccinate their elementary-aged students

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Pfizer submitted initial data to the Food and Drug Administration today showing its COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11.

Some area schools have mandated masks mandate to keep their students and staff safe, especially those not eligible for the vaccine yet.

”You should have a choice of whether or not you get it. As far as mandates go, I’m not big on mandates. I’m big on freedoms,” Jeremy Lampe, an Iowa City Community School District parent, said.

Lampe, the father of three students in the district, doesn‘t like vaccine requirements, but said he’ll likely get his youngest, Henry, vaccinated once it’s available.

”Our oldest two are vaccinated, so I think once it’s FDA approved I don’t really have an issue with vaccinating my son for COVID,” Lampe told TV-9.

Sam Jarvis, the community health division manager with Johnson County Public Health, said they want to continue to educate parents and guardians on that choice.

”We know throughout the entire vaccine campaign, information has changed,” Jarvis said. “Certainly we’ve seen great news in terms of safety and efficacy, but we want to make sure everyone has the most up-to-date information.”

Pfizer’s clinical trial included more than 2,200 children ages 5 to 11. It showed the COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective, but that’s not enough for all parents.

One parent at Helen Lemme Elementary said her family has had the virus, so they all feel protected enough already. Others are anxious for the FDA to authorize shots for elementary-aged kids.

”I see all the doctors and nurses and stuff like that at all hours of the days, and it’s just sad because we have the answer,” Grant Raitt, another parent, said.

Jarvis said regardless of how many parents choose to get their children vaccinated, they plan to help connect as many as possible with the resources they need once it becomes available.

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