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Despite optimism from vaccine manufacturers, San Antonio doctor recommends parents hold off on immunizing children

The three companies that have received emergency-use approval for their vaccines made for adults are still in the trial phase of testing vaccines for kids.

SAN ANTONIO — This week, we learned some San Antonio-area parents are trying to get their kids immunized against the coronavirus, despite those under 16 still being ineligible for vaccines. 

Small children are turned away, although some teenagers who look old enough tend to be vaccinated anyways, since most distributors don't require proof of age. 

Dr. Tess Barton, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at UT Health, said the developments are unsurprising to her because many parents just want to keep their kids safe. 

"I'm sort of encouraged that people are trying to bypass the system to get the vaccine, because we have been very concerned that there is going to be a lot of vaccine hesitancy," she said. 

While preliminary studies for at least one vaccine show it's safe for younger teenagers – and with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson still undergoing vaccine trials for children – Barton is asking parents to hold off until the data is complete. 

"We do need to get that information before we start vaccinating children," she said. "No parent wants to do something that may not be in their child's best interests." 

In the meantime, she said parents can protect their kids by ensuring everyone in the household is vaccinated. 

"Let's just, you know, push ahead, do things right. Get the information right."