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'I may cry tears of joy': Appleton parents eager for vaccine rollout for kids ages 5 to 11

Posted at 6:41 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 19:50:29-04

APPLETON, Wis. (NBC 26) — Beth Menzel got her first vaccine dose in December. Now almost a year later, the Appleton parent's three kids are on the cusp of getting the shots as well.

"I anticipate I may cry tears of joy for their vaccines like I did for my own," she said. "I'm certainly waiting with a lot of anticipation hoping that the science is sound enough and strong enough that there is approval."


Wednesday, the White House announced its plan to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 years old.

In early November, that rollout could reach local families including Menzel, who has a 5, 7 and 9-year-old.

Kids COVID-19 vaccines
An Israeli youth receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the central Israeli city of Rishon LeZion, Sunday, June 6, 2021. Israel started vaccinating children from 12 to 15 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

"My kids can be a part of the answer and a part of the light at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel in healthcare," Menzel said.

Emily Tseffos has a 6-year-old Appleton student. In her district, almost 60 percent of the area is fully vaccinated.

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Emily Tseffos (left) has a 6-year-old Appleton student.

"We've been so thankful that they've had that opportunity with the universal masking," she said. "But the fact that we're getting to the point where they'll be vaccinated is just another layer of protection for them."

But the doses aren't approved yet.

Next week, an FDA advisory committee is set to discuss emergency authorization for ages 5 to 11.

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In her district, almost 60 percent of the area is fully vaccinated.

"We haven't had that conversation that this is coming, like we're so excited," Tseffos said. "But we will have that conversation at home over the dinner table and repeatedly before she gets that."

Until then, Tseffos' daughter is preparing in her own way with a picture book in anticipation of the vaccine.

"The final page is of a child that looks like her with a smiling face and there's a syringe next to it," Tseffos said.