Parents urge schools to take more COVID-19 precautions as they await vaccine authorization for kids
Parents say schools need to do more to protect young students while COVID-19 vaccines remain without approval for children under 12.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccines could be available for children under 12 by the end of October.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson need to find the proper dosage for children. It cannot be the same shots allowed for adults – that's why it is taking so long to approve vaccination for children.
Clinical trials are taking place, and once completed, the companies will ask for emergency use authorization. After that, the Food and Drug Administration will study the data.
Over 36,000 kids ages 12 to 15 years old are vaccinated in New Jersey, and over 87,000 are vaccinated in the 16- to 17-year-old range.
Until the shot is ready for all ages, some parents are calling for stricter protocols.
Dev Kumar's 12-year-old attends John Adams Middle School in Edison. He's vaccinated, but Kumar remains concerned about the possibility of illness.
"Do I feel comfortable? No, I don't feel comfortable sending him to school. But I also want to give him his freedom. He wants to mingle with his friends,” Kumar says.
Kumar has pulled his 10-year-old child with autism from school, and he is now home-schooled.
Kumar says he doesn't want his son back at home sitting in front of a computer, but he wants the district to consider options.
"Is it necessary to have gym class inside of school? Can we have it outside of school? Can we have lunch hours outside of school?" Kumar says.
There's no longer an option for remote learning at New Jersey schools.
Gov. Phil Murphy, the Department of Education and the New Jersey Education Association are all in agreement that students need to be at school.
Kumar says he understands that decision, he's just looking for more precaution.