NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- When it comes to vaccinating children, some parents say, "No." Others express hesitation.
But many say they're firmly in step with science, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Friday.
Children represent 23% of the U.S. population. Herd immunity cannot be achieved without inoculating some of them, said Long Island public health officials.
Parents like Ignatio Moran of Inwood have questions.
"I have two teenagers and they already have scheduled for the vaccine. And I have a little baby," Moran said.
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"We have a child that's medically compromised. So, in that way, I would defer to our pediatrician," said Marie Cavanaugh from Long Beach.
"I'm thinking pretty much that their immune systems could fight off anything," said Dave Tilley from Roosevelt, who said he leans toward not getting his kids vaccinated.
Pfizer and Moderna are testing the vaccine on 12 to 15-year-olds. It they prove effective, they may soon get emergency use authorization for the age group.
"If the data shows that they are safe, then we may have greater availability for those who are 12 and older," said Dr. Sophia Jan, chief of pediatrics at Cohen Children's Hospital. "The studies are ongoing for children who are six months and above."
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Millions of children in the U.S. have been infected, thousands hospitalized and hundreds have died.
While children, on average, might not get as sick as adults, they can pass COVID-19 on to more vulnerable people.
Dr. Sharon Nachman, chief of pediatrics at Stony Brook Children's Hospital, said approval for the younger this summer would be ideal.
"It's more than enough time for us to vaccinate the 12 and olders, recognizing that that's the exact age group that does have parties that turn into superspreader events, and that are getting back to our families who are high risk," Dr. Nachman said.
Medical experts say saving lives with the vaccine outweighs the risk of side effects. They caution parents against spreading unscientific, vaccine gossip on social media.
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