By Juli McDonald

WESTWOOD (CBS) – For many parents of young kids – the Covid concerns still linger.

“Everybody is waiting for the vaccine to come,” one parent told WBZ-TV. “These age groups should definitely get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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Sure, the community may be safer each day, but kids under 12 remain an enormous population of unvaccinated people.

“As more and more people are getting vaccinated our fears are going down but they will still not go away completely until they get vaccinated,” a dad in Westwood said.

Young kids are far less likely to develop severe cases of Covid-19, but they can still become infected and spread it to others. Now there’s new hope for more protection, perhaps by Thanksgiving.

“We hope that as we approach the end of this calendar year, we’ll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age. So I’m cautiously optimistic we might be there by the end of the year,” Dr. Anthony Fauci explained.

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So what does that mean for kids in the classroom? If vaccination rates improve, the CDC might lift its mask mandate in schools even before the fall return.

“I think he’s already gotten used to it. I wouldn’t mind if he continued to wear the mask in the coming fall,” a mother said of her first grader.

The vaccine studies underway are for children as young as six months. Many parents of brand new babies are understandably cautious with loosened restrictions.

“My daughter is only two months old so I really want her to be safe. That’s the best way and the easiest way to keep everyone safe,” another mom said of masking.

Vaccinated parents told WBZ they want that same protection for their kids, so life at school, at home and in the community can feel normal and safe again.

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“I will be much more at ease once the vaccine is coming and the kids take it. Then we can send them. They are precious. We don’t want anything to happen to them,” a mother said.

Juli McDonald