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Families, businesses optimistic with vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds near

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Marketplace, September 2021

Families with kids ages 5 to 11 have reason to be hopeful after Pfizer announced the results of its vaccine trials on Monday. The company said that a smaller dose of the vaccine is safe and effective for children in that age bracket. Shots could be getting into the arms of those younger kids by Halloween if all goes well with the Food and Drug Administration emergency approval process — and that could also give the economic recovery a boost, too.

When Tina Sherman in North Carolina heard about Pfizer’s latest vaccine trial results, she was excited for her 6-year-old son. “I completely choked up and wanted to cry,” she said. Her son is the only one of her four children who is unvaccinated. They have big plans for after he gets the shot. “Yeah, we are going to go to the Cheesecake Factory and have lunch. And, gosh, we have a slew of birthdays coming up, so we’re going to get to do maybe indoor parties—what a concept!”

All that economic activity could be good for businesses that cater to the under-12 crowd, like the Backyard Indoor Playground in Golden Valley, Minnesota. “Kids come, they have an absolute blast. You go through all these tunnels, and there are slides built within it, there are party rooms,” said Rick Birno, parks and recreation director for the city of Golden Valley, which runs the indoor playground that shut down at the start of the pandemic. “We, of course, have had no revenue from that facility for 2021,” he said. But now he’s cautiously hopeful that the playground can reopen soon.

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