Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says it will likely roll out a COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5 years old early this fall.
Pfizer also says it plans to make coronavirus vaccines available for kids aged 5 to 11 just in time for the start of the new academic year.
"It's of course going to be super tricky. You're going to have these blended families of vaccinated/unvaccinated, and you're going to have to potentially have different types of protocols," said Dr. John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children's Hospital.
Because of this parents and guardians with children under the age of 12 may have to avoid crowds or indoor events over the summer and keep their kids masked until they are vaccinated.
"Your kids are probably going to have to take on a little bit more of the responsibility while they wait to get vaccinated," Brownstein said.
Pfizer announced Tuesday they will soon begin COVID-19 vaccine trials on children ages 11 and younger. The company plans to enroll 4,500 kids across 90 sites in the United States. Children as young as 6 months old will be included in Pfizer's testing, and Moderna also plans to test its shots on babies that young.
Brownstein says this kind of testing should ease concerns among parents and guardians of younger children.
"The trials that are going on now will really give us a good window into the safety and side effects in kids, and will give us that reassurance that it's OK," he said. "Getting our kids vaccinated is our ticket to herd immunity, but it's also our ticket to getting our kids the normal life that they deserve."
Parents and guardians who still have questions should consult their child's pediatrician, Brownstein says.