New Hope For In-Person Learning At Schools After Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Is Safe For Kids 12+

Pfizer has announced its vaccine is 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children as young as 12.The news gives renewed hope for a return back to schools with teachers and friends. CBS2's Meg Baker reports.

Video Transcript

MAURICE DUBOIS: There is some good news in the push to get the kids back in school and achieve national herd immunity.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Pfizer announcing that its vaccine is 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children as young as 12 years old. "CBS 2's" Meg Baker live in Maplewood with the reaction from officials and also parents. Meg.

MEG BAKER: Kristine and Maurice, were in the Maplewood South Orange District, which has been all virtual for more than a year now. Now, they're hoping that with this news they can return and be back with their teachers and their friends.

REBECCA KAHANE: I would get them vaccinated because I have more of a concern of what could happen if they got COVID versus the vaccine.

- That's my future. [CHUCKLES] And I got to make sure they stay alive and healthy.

- Great idea. I'm glad they did the testing, and I wish that the 11-year-olds would be included because that's how old my grandson is.

MEG BAKER: After promising results, Pfizer says it plans to apply for extended emergency use authorization for children 12 to 15 right away.

MAX GOMEZ: I would expect the FDA to expedite its review of their data and possibly grant that authorization within weeks, meaning that with enough vaccine supply, which should be available, kids could be fully vaccinated in time for the start of the school year this fall.

MEG BAKER: But some are skeptical. Liz Evans' kids have been all virtual for more than a year. She says kids are so low-risk already.

LIZ EVANS: I'm not sure that any-- any new information is necessarily going to help things get back to normal. I think it just-- I don't know.

MEG BAKER: Governor Murphy is optimistic, but says there is still a major supply and demand imbalance.

PHIL MURPHY: Any amount of more vaccines or more eligibility, if we could do it methodically and responsibly, is a good thing.

MEG BAKER: Mayor Bill de Blasio says this will help move the country's largest school district forward.

BILL DE BLASIO: Our schools are the safest places to be in New York City right now, and we are already planning for September to bring our kids back, for everyone who's ready to come back. But this will-- you know, as this progresses, it just makes it better.

MEG BAKER: What do you say to parents who may have some hesitancy?

PERRY HALKITIS: I say that we have to believe the science. I say that we-- we have to trust the scientists. The scientists have shown us that this vaccine is efficacious and that it's safe. We are vaccinating children anyway from many other things.

MEG BAKER: Pfizer plans to test its vaccine on even younger children, paving the way for elementary school students in the coming months. We're live in Maplewood, New Jersey, Meg Baker, "CBS 2 News."