LAS VEGAS (FOX5)-- The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been shown to be safe and highly effective in young children aged five to 11 years, according to the drug companies. 

The shots could come in the middle of the school year, which could make a lot of families more comfortable with attending school in person.

Will Clark County School District's remote-learning families be able to switch to in-person learning if they wish?

The CCSD communications office and various leaders within the district had not responded to FOX5's requests for comment as of this publication. 

A public health expert in the Las Vegas Valley weighed in on the possible effects of Pfizer's findings. She said Nevada families with school-aged children have every reason to be thrilled about this news.

"This really does close the gap and the loop for all of our children that are currently in schools," said Dr. Christina Madison, associate professor of pharmacy practice, Roseman University. "This is going to drastically reduce the risk for younger children and having that very severe complication associated with infection."

The dominance of the delta variant coincided with start of the school year for many families, and the resulting surge in Southern Nevada demonstrated the need for added protection.

"All of this is just very welcome news for us as we continue to send our kids to in person learning," Madison said.

More than 20,000 students remain in virtual learning throughout CCSD, including those who recently switched their student(s) to the district's free online public school Nevada Learning Academy (NVLA). 

Roughly 12,000 students are in distance learning through their school and more than 8,000 are enrolled in NVLA.

CCSD generic classroom

"Most of the families that have chosen NVLA for the school year in such high numbers has been due to the fact of either parents, siblings, the child, students themselves, or extended family that may reside in the home being medically fragile," said Anna Marie Binder, an NVLA parent and the admin for the school's Facebook page for parents.

But this doesn't necessarily mean we'll see a mass exodus from distance learning. Kara Jones' 11-year-old son is a recent transfer to NVLA.

"I think we're gonna stick with the online," she said. "Just because of different health issues with everyone in our family."

She added that this news won't affect them, as she does not plan to vaccinate her child.

"There's so much uncertainty," said Jones. "I'm trying to keep me and my family safe."

For some local families like Madison's, if younger children become eligible, the choice is a no-brainer.

"My 5-year-old is definitely gonna get vaccinated," said Madison.

If Pfizer's trial data is approved, it will receive emergency use authorization from the FDA. The companies said they expect results from a trial on the vaccine for kids under five years old by the end of the year.


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