Controversy Stirs as Pfizer Vaccine Becomes Available to Children 5-12


Hayden Gust

Pattonville Nurses’ office, a place that now requires an online pass so that not too many students are in at one time and so that nurses can assess symptoms.

Hayden Gust, Staff Writer

On October 21, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for children as young as five years old. As many parents rush to get their children vaccinated, others feel some uneasiness towards the vaccine.

Pattonville held a clinic on November 20, 2021, to help the district youth get the COVID vaccine, with a follow-up on December 11, 2021. Right now, Ms. Guetschow, Pattonville High School nurse, explained the district’s procedures for students who have been exposed. “The policy is, if you have 1 symptoms, you have to go home for 24 hours symptom free, 2 or more or major, cleared by a doctor, or a negative covid test, if you have any unvaxxed siblings go home as well”

Haley Edmonds, a nursing student, believes that students should get the shot. “I think it would be good for them, since they are super spreaders, and in order to make sure they don’t get it or get sick, as long as it’s safe for them to get it.”

Throughout the pandemic, it was stressed that people who are above the age of 65 needed to be vaccinated. Austin Jackson, a sophomore, felt that the vaccine was not as necessary for him because of his age. “I just don’t feel the need to take it since I’m young, and since I’ve had [Covid] and it wasn’t that bad, I don’t feel the need to take it.”

Others just feel some general uneasiness about newly developed vaccines for children. Ms. Lisa Pirrung, a math teacher at Pattonville High School, explained, “I am unsure how it would impact a child and would like to know more about its possible medical concerns.”

At a time of everchanging research some want more. “I would say the reason I am hesitant and want more research is we have given vaccines to our children for years, but those vaccines aren’t a month old, so I don’t know if I’m comfortable with my family being the guinea pig,” Ms. Pirrung said.

Often, members within the same family are divided. “A lot of my family is vaccinated, but personally since I’m younger I don’t feel a need to,” Jackson said.

Some believe that the decision has become too political. “I think that they [Those who are undecided] have to be honest with themselves. I think this is a decision that shouldn’t be political. I think you should listen to your own mind and body, and that if you believe that getting the vaccine is the right thing for you, do it,” Ms. Pirrung said.

There are myriad sources that people can get information from, and sometimes it can get confusing. “I would say, family, CDC, and social media is a really big effect, like peers,” Haley Edmonds said.

Others think that the vaccine is safe and necessary. Bria Mathis-Stanberry, a junior, explained, “It’s a good way for children and seniors to get protected because if someone lost someone close to them because they were not vaccinated yet, it would make them feel like it was their fault.”

If you are interested in additional information about the vaccine, check out the CDC’s website.