SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Tears welled in Brad Horn’s eyes as he spoke about his daughters. He is the father of a 2-year-old, Hazel, and a two-month-old, Ruby.
Horn says being a parent means everything to him.
“Being a parent is the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever felt,” he said. “Being able to help my children navigate the world is probably the single best challenge I’ve ever faced and the biggest reward I’ve ever had.”
And with this reward comes responsibility. Horn said the health and safety of his children is the main reason he decided to get the COVID vaccine. Recently, children from the ages of five to 11 have been cleared to get the vaccine, but Horn’s children are still too young. Because of this, he hasn’t been able to enjoy life with his young children the way he would like.
“Without my two children being able to be vaccinated it has totally changed the way we would want to experience life,” he said. “My father lives in Palm Springs. California and my mom lives in Texas. All we want to do is to take our daughters and travel, but we don’t even consider that option.”
Horn and his family don’t even take their children to the grocery store because they want to make sure their kids aren’t exposed to the virus.
The possibility of exposure to the virus is something that some parents of young children are worried about. However, Dr. Sheila Belton-Gaymon says with more vaccines administered, fewer people will have to fear this possible exposure.
“Children who are now getting the vaccine will have an impact on people not only physically, but mentally,” she said. “I think that now people can get the vaccine and can socialize with their families and this will have a significant impact.”
Dr. Belton-Gaymon also said parents of children who can be vaccinated don’t have to worry about keeping their child from school for COVID reasons.
“We know that parents have had to keep their children home from school, which impacts their ability to go to work,” she said. “So now that we have the indication for the five to 11 age group, parents can feel more confident about sending their children to school and can get their education in person rather than through a screen.”
This comfortability is something that Horn and his family will have to wait on. He hopes not for much longer.
“Boy I really wish there was something available as soon as possible,” he said. “Or as soon as 2022 because at two years old and even two months, there are so many things we want to do in this world with our girls,” he said.
Pfizer and BioTech did release a statement in September that said data concerning vaccines for children under the age of five are expected as soon as the end of this year.