Parents anxious to vaccinate young children describe a painful wait

Long before Tyfanee Pratt’s son Julian was born in November 2019 in Burlington, NJ, Mrs. Pratt was ready to introduce him to the world. But then, he wrote, “Kovid-19 knocked on our door – locked us and hid the key.”

Mrs. Pratt responded to a call from New York Times readers, asking parents of young children about life with an immunized child, toddler or preschooler.

“Her father and I were her cell mates,” he wrote to the Times, adding that the experience had almost destroyed their relationship.

Mrs. Pratt is one of an estimated five parents of children under the age of 5 who, according to a recent survey, are anxiously awaiting the Food and Drug Administration to approve a coronavirus vaccine for the youngest Americans. That age group, with about 20 million children, is not yet eligible for shots alone

A committee of experts to advise the FDA is set to vote Wednesday on whether Pfizer and Modern vaccines will be approved for young children. If the answer is yes and the rest of the process happens quickly, they can start getting shots as soon as Tuesday.

Most parents are not so keen on vaccinating their young children, the survey found. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation this spring found that two out of five parents said they plan to wait before deciding what to do and to see how the vaccine works for others. And 38 percent said they should not vaccinate their children, or do so if necessary.

A New York City parent wrote to the Times, “Because infant mortality rates are so low, and we’ve already fought the Covid Omicron version, we should be fine for a while.” “Unless something of the sort is more serious for children under 5, I will wait until my child is 5 to get vaccinated.”

Adrian Bryant of Willowbrook, Ill., Who has a child and a 36-year-old daughter, said he was “not sold” for vaccinating young children, explaining: Sick, he came back quickly. “

But for parents like Mrs. Pratt who want to vaccinate their children, the wait was painful.

Last month, more than 1,600 parents responded to the Times call in less than 24 hours. The expression of their thoughts and feelings reflects how they and their children have suffered without access to a pediatric vaccine – mentally, socially and financially. Here are some of the ways they describe waiting: Hell. Brutal. Torture. Terrible. Terrible. Heartbreaking.

One parent wrote, β€œI almost lost my job and my mind. “My income is half,” said another. “The hardest time of my life.” “I feel helpless and hopeless.” “Very lonely; I’m crying as I write this.” “Every cough puts me on edge.”

“We’re not making memories.” “My kids are getting lost from having babies.” “I’ve been breastfeeding her for 20 months to give her some immunity.” “It’s like trying to protect them from a snowstorm.”

Many parents regret that their children may have developmental delays because they have never had a date with the game or normal contact with children their age.

“When my 2.5-year-old took his first friend to play, he would touch her to see if she was real,” wrote Lauren Klinger of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Angela Smith, a former web designer who founded a nonprofit called Pantry Collective, is now the mother of a 2-year-old girl living in Colorado Springs. “He doesn’t know he’s missing everything, and I’m grateful for that,” Mrs. Smith wrote. “But I do, and that’s what makes me sad.”

Many have written about how the epidemic caused social divisions, lack of trust in government and public health, and lack of empathy for others. A New York City mother writes that she and her baby often wait 20 minutes to use the elevator in their apartment building, rather than risk taking an unmasked passenger.

One parent in Denver wrote: “We are a nation of selfish children, not just children.”

Katie Nelb, an IT worker and mother of a 3-year-old in McKinney, Texas, writes: Have symptoms but don’t want to be tested. And because I know a lot of people are doing these things without any protection for my child, my family is forced to stay in lockdown for two and a half years. ”

Ali Chan is a pediatric intensive care nurse in St. Louis. Her husband is an emergency medicine doctor. Their younger age is about 3; They have a 6 year old immune deficiency.

She and her husband felt so strongly about protecting their children that they told relatives that they would see them as soon as they were vaccinated. “We must protect our children, and if our extended family is unwilling to do so, we will protect our children from them as well,” he wrote.

Kirsten Green Wiora of Sears, Ark, said others in her city did not share her concerns about the spread of the infection in public indoor spaces, making it difficult for her own 4- and 8-year-olds to wear masks.

“We are the only ones still masking our immunized children,” he wrote. “I used to give my kids dollars whenever they wore masks in public indoor places.”

Mrs. Pratt’s son Julian is now two and a half years old and curious about everything He ticked off what he missed as other Americans were vaccinated and returned to “the comfort of familiar routine and daily freedom”:

β€œHe never went to the grocery store or mall,” he wrote. “I did not go to cheat or treat my friends. Never sat on Santa’s lap. Never went to an internal family gathering. He still hasn’t been able to meet or spend time with most of our friends and family.

“We’re inside, looking outside,” he wrote.

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