LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to lower the age requirement for the COVID-19 vaccine down to 12 years old.
The announcement is expected by the beginning of next week.
Health experts say it is necessary to add the younger generations to help the U.S. reach herd immunity against the virus.
"If we don't immunize that group, that's going to leave a big part of the population that's susceptible to the virus and be able to continue on the pandemic," says Robert Frenck Jr., Director of Vaccine Research Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Doctors say that somewhere between 70% and 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to reach mass immunity.
In Lee County, about 33% of eligible people are fully vaccinated against the virus.
Lee County school district has just over 22,000 middle schoolers currently enrolled. Many of these teens will become eligible if the FDA lowers the age requirements.
One parent in Lee County says even if it is approved her kids will not get the shot.
"My kids will never get the vaccine. They're not getting a vaccine that's brand new, we know nothing about it."
The FDA says that Pfizer would be the first vaccine available to kids.