FDA approved Pfizer booster for children 12 to 15, pharmacies overwhelmed with appointment calls

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – The Food and Drug Administration approved authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster dose for ages 12 to 15 Monday.

The vaccine still needs approval from the CDC before shots can be administered but parents are already getting a jump start on trying to schedule appointments for their kids.

“The phones have been ringing off the hook about it,” Kavanaugh Pharmacy owner Anne Pace said.

Pace says the pharmacy is holding off on taking appointments until final approval comes in. Other pharmacies, however, are already scheduling for later in the week.

“I completely understand the urgency from people,” Pace said.

Schools in Central Arkansas are set to return from the holiday break as early as Tuesday. Parents say they are worried about sending their students back with COVID-19 cases on the rise.

“I’m worried for my kids, I’m worried for myself, and I’m worried for the students across Arkansas,” parent Jamie Young said.

Young has a 14-year-old at home. She says her son’s anxiety about getting sick was higher this past year than normal.

“It’s really scared him living in this world and kids should not live in fear,” Young said.

Young says she scheduled an appointment for her son’s booster this week. She says it was his decision and hopes he can get it before school starts.

“I feel like the serious nature of these viruses aren’t really being reinforced as they could be and it makes me nervous,” Young said.

Some districts are requiring masks and others are making them optional. Young says both she and her son want an extra layer of protection before the school bell rings.

“It would make him feel safer that even if he got sick, he would be less likely to be severely sick,” Young said.

The Arkansas Department of Health says the CDC is expected to meet for approval Wednesday. If approved, shots could be administered as early as Thursday.

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