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Connecticut parents debate vaccinating young children against COVID-19

The CDC endorsed the recommendation for children 6 months to 5 years old to get vaccinated against COVID-19 Saturday.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — The CDC announced recommendations for children 6 months to 5 years old to get vaccinated against COVID-19 Saturday. The FDA authorized the vaccine for emergency use authorization Friday.

Connecticut parents now consider getting their children vaccinated. Middletown parents Sheheryar Shakeen and Tahreem Wasti are split.

RELATED: FDA recommends COVID-19 vaccines for young kids

"I was fully in support," Wasti said. "For me, it’s like pump her with anything as long as it keeps her safe."

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Middletown parents Sheheryar Shakeen and Tahreem Wasti are debating whether or not to vaccinate their 2-year-old daughter against COVID-19 after recent CDC approval.

The two-year-old's dad said he is hesitant about her getting vaccinated.

"I think I don’t have complete information. That’s why maybe I’m a little hesitant on this," Shakeen said. "What I don’t understand is why is the CDC asking or green lighting right now that we can get toddlers given the shot."

Shakeen wants to know what the potential impact on toddlers can be. He and his wife felt the side effects of some of their vaccines and are worried about their daughter going through the same.

The dad said he wants to see the science and studies that went into this decision.

Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu with Yale Medicine was a part of the kids Pfizer clinical trial. He said the data showed the vaccines were safe.

"This feels like we have come full circle now that we have literally everyone respective of age-eligible for the vaccine," he said. "In the clinical trials, we paid very close attention to safety signals."

Ogbuagu said there are more benefits than risks and it will serve as another tool to help the spread of coronavirus.

"I think we need to get the word out early that the vaccines are safe. They’re effective," he said.

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Wasti and Shakeen's 12-year-old daughter got vaccinated and had minimal side effects. Wasti said that was an easier decision to make because others were also getting their teens vaccinated. Shakeen said he had to be in support because of school requirements.

Even though COVID-19 may not impact this young group like those with underlying health conditions or seniors, Wasti said there's still that risk.

RELATED: CT COVID-19 Updates: 7-day average positivity rate 8.1%

The new age group approval expands to include nearly 20 million children. It only includes the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The vaccine distribution has started and will be available this week, the CDC says. Vaccine sites can be found here as well as at pharmacies, local health departments, and more.

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tblack@fox61.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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