By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another step in the battle against COVID-19 as now anyone ages 12 to 15 can get vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. U.S. regulators today expanded the use of the vaccine as a way of protecting children before they head back to school in the fall.

Not everyone is in support of the emergency use authorization. Eyewitness News spoke with one woman who was not in support of the move but didn’t want to speak on camera. However, those who did speak on camera say they’re following the science.

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“If it’s safe for children we should use it to make sure that we reach as much immunity as possible in our community to keep everybody safe,” Rajith Sebastian said.

“If it’s available, let’s just try to get these kids vaccinated so we can get everything back to the way it’s supposed to be, and keep these kids as well as ourselves healthy,” Dolores Battle said.

Eyewitness News received mostly positive feedback from parents with young children about the FDA authorizing emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12-15. But there are still many Americans who are hesitant.

“I understand you’re hesitant, it’s a vaccine. We’re putting something into your body to create an immune response. But when you see people who aren’t vaccinated and you see the deaths that people have had or the serious illness without the vaccines, then it brings home the fact that the vaccines are important and they’re doing their job,” said Dr. Rob Danoff with Jefferson Health Northeast.

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Danoff says so far in Philadelphia, about 38% of residents are fully vaccinated. Just over 50% have received at least one dose and have partial protection.

But until at least 70% of the population is vaccinated, we will continue to have the facial covering requirements.

“Right now we’ve had a bunch of requests from parents asking can they get their kids vaccinated because they see the benefits because now grandparents and families can get together,” Danoff said.

There is certainly vaccine hesitancy, but health officials are hoping with the decline in infections and deaths more people will feel comfortable baring their arm.

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A CDC advisory committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to review the shots for kids. It’s expected to be approved and if it is, the Pfizer vaccine could be distributed to children ages 12 to 15 as soon as this week.

Kimberly Davis