Many parents wondering when their kids will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

Right now, a lot of parents have a pretty good idea of when they’ll be eligible for a COVID vaccine – but what about their kids?

"We really need the kids to get the vaccination if it’s safe for the younger kids," mom Grace Wei said Thursday in Bethesda while standing next to her 9-year-old son. "School is going to start very soon for Ryan, so I’m really concerned if they don’t have anything to put them into the protection."

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But ask the experts, like Dr. Ken Thorpe, the chairman of the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease, and they’ll tell you questions remain.

"We need to do continued research on how children respond to the vaccine," he said. "You know the data we have to date is not as complete as it is among adults because that’s who we’ve primarily enrolled in the clinical trials."

It’s why he and others are looking towards the future.

READ MORE: When will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines? It depends on age

"We really encourage the vaccine trials to proceed with the same urgency in children that they did with adults," explained American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Lee Beers. She pointed out that while children may be less likely to become ill from covid or less likely to spread covid, they still can. Plus, she added, there are a lot of them.

"For us to really achieve herd immunity," Beers said, "it’s gonna be really important to have kids, children and adolescents, vaccinated as well."

READ MORE: Clinical COVID-19 vaccine trials started for children

She said we are moving in that direction. As of now, the Pfizer vaccine works for kids as young as 16, and on top of that, Beers said vaccine trials are ongoing for children who are even younger.

"I have two school-age children, and I plan to get them vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible," Beers added.

As for when parents can expect their kids to be vaccinated, Beers said it’s tough to say. She estimates that children 12 and up will likely be eligible over the summer but said it’s more difficult to pinpoint a time for kids who are even younger.