BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As vaccine qualifications expand, parents are becoming more concerned about the effects a vaccine could have on kids under 12.

Many parents feel the same way and have lingering concerns about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for their kids.

“I don’t feel comfortable not knowing what the long term effects are going to be” says Nathan Keller.

Keller is the father of a toddler and says he’s still on the fence.
“One of the bigger issues is if I say okay, if I give this to my daughter how do I know that it doesn’t have a weird ingredient in it that we don’t even know she is allergic to,” said Keller.

Just like him, many other parents fear the unknown as research is still ongoing for children under the age of 12. Medical professionals say, they are being proactive to ease that hesitation.

“Part of it is talking about the science that’s going on in terms of the study and looking at all this, reassuring them that this isn’t something that we’re just rolling out to the general public without having being investigated,” says Baton Rouge General’s Family Medicine Doctor, Jacob Wood.

Wood says, he hears these concerns first hand and is showing his trust in the process by getting his own kids vaccinated.

“My two oldest have qualified age wise and they have been vaccinated. I have a 16-year-old who is now in the qualifying age group and he’s going to be vaccinated maybe this week and I have a 10-year-old and we’re still waiting on that age group,” says Wood.

As of now there’s no authorization for a vaccine for anyone under 16, but studies are being done to get the little ones on those lists. 
“There’s no reason to think that it would be any different with children in terms of the mechanisms with the vaccination. It should be just as safe and just as effective in children as it is in adults,” says Wood.

As we head into the summer months and a new school year, there will come a time when parents have to choose whether to vaccinate their kids or not. For many parents, it’ll be a tough decision, but they say safety is key to putting their family first.

“This vaccine is important because it’s going to determine if we can be outside or not, if I can take my daughter to the park or not. If I can take her to family reunions and for the safety not just for my daughter, for my grandparents, parents and everybody and that’s why I think it’s important we all be good stewards of information,” says Keller.