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Arkansas doctor answers when children under 12 could be eligible for the vaccine

THV11 took six of the most common questions to Dr. Chad Rodgers, a partner at Little Rock Pediatric Clinic.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Many of you have let us know that you have concerns and questions when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, especially when it comes to children.

THV11 took six of the most common questions to Dr. Chad Rodgers, a partner at Little Rock Pediatric Clinic. Questions range from the safety of the vaccine to specifics of how it could affect certain underlying conditions.

Is the vaccine safe for kids, and in general?

"I have good confidence in the vaccine. When you look at adults compared to teens, it's all been very similar, and it's a very safe vaccine," Dr. Rodgers said.

What about side effects? We know that you can experience muscle soreness and fatigue, but what about the rarer ones?

"All those kids who developed that side effect, of that sort of heart inflammation, they have been followed and they have been traced and all resolved," Rodgers said. "They are all doing well, so no one died from the vaccine, no one had some long term complications."

School is coming up soon – is it safe for kids who aren't vaccinated to go?

Dr. Rodgers said yes, but masks should be considered.

"Also for those who work in schools who may not have gotten vaccinated for various reasons," Rodgers said. "Maybe for health reasons, maybe for other reasons, but definitely would encourage them to get that vaccine."

When could kids under 12 years old get the vaccine?

"We already know that vaccine studies are starting to go on for kids younger than 12 years of age, our goal is to get down to 2, even six months of age," Rodgers said. "We're hoping late fall and winter, maybe early next year that we can vaccinate even our youngest children."

If someone has allergies, could that interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine?

"Just having general allergies or asthma or a health condition should not make you less safe to get the vaccine," Rodgers said.