By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI(CBSMiami)—- The Chief Medical Officer for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital says the new proposed Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11 could be a “lifesaver.”

In an interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, Dr. Ron Ford says, “I think every pediatrician is rejoicing at the news about this vaccine that is coming by the end of the month I think. It really gives us an opportunity to offer the vaccine to a percentage of the population that is an important population because of this age group’s ability to contract the illness and to also spread it. Until we get as many people as possible immunized to the virus we don’t have much chance of ending this pandemic.”

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Ford said, “My advice to parents who are concerned to talk to that child’s primary care physician to get the most up-to-date information. The Pfizer data looks dry good in terms of very few side effects and those that did occur were very minimal and self-resolving and children showed remarkable immunity with children receiving only a third of the dosage given to adolescents and adults.”

Ford said, “It could be a lifesaver and help us take a big chunk out of the population that is still vulnerable to COVID and this vaccine looks very promising.”

Kristen Hewitt showed D’Oench photos of her 12-year-old Lila who was vaccinated as soon as it was available. And now she is eager for her 9-year-old daughter Emy to receive the vaccine as soon as it is available as well.

”We have been eagerly waiting for the vaccine,” she said. “We believe in science and we want to keep her safe and healthy. She is immunodeficient and she is being treated by an immunologist right now. The flu makes her very sick and we don’t know how she will react if she gets COVID. For us any protection is good and we can’t wait to get her vaccinated. We will jump right on it.”

”If you look at history,” she said, “the only way to end the pandemic is through vaccinations and that is the best tool we have to get society back to normal. That is the best tool we have along we wearing masks and wearing them at school.”

At the downtown Doral Charter Elementary school, most parents told us they were optimistic about getting a vaccine for their children.

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Brenda Pereira said, “It’s a protection for my 5-year-old daughter Victoria and will make them safe.”

Santiago Saltos said he wanted his 5-year-old son to get vaccinated as well.

”I think variants are coming out and we need to learn how to live with that so kids will be safe,” he said.

Karen Sanchez’s 5-year-old son Lucas said “I wanted to get vaccinated.”

But Karen is not going to rush in to get her son vaccinated.

”I would like to get the vaccine of course but I am not going to be the first person to do it,” she said. “I am going to wait a few months for the results just to see what are the effects on kids and after that I will decide. My biggest concern is I think the vaccine was approved really quickly. I worry the side effects could be dangerous. So maybe I will wait 6 months.”

The new vaccine would have one-third of the dosage given to those 12 and older.

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Peter D'Oench