NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The danger from COVID is higher for children with underlying health conditions.
For some families, that means taking extra precautions. Many have been living in isolation for the last 18 months.READ MORE: First U.S. Case Of Omicron Variant Detected In California
Nine-year-old Allie Fiero and his family have lost so much time, but getting the vaccine means a chance to get back to school, go to restaurants, see his grandparents and return to normalcy.
CBS2’s Jessica Layton asked Fiero what his dream job would be.
“An astronaut, like up in space,” he said.
He’s always reaching for the stars, and since the start of the pandemic, that’s purely meant trying to stay healthy.
“It’s been really hard,” he said.
Fiero was born with a problem with his trachea and esophagus that affects his respiratory system. Even the common cold has sent him to the hospital.
“So COVID was a big threat for Allie,” his mother, Erin Fiero, told Layton.
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The past two years have meant almost total isolation for the Garden City family. There were no holidays with the people they love, and no playdates for the kids.
“What’s on our bucket list?” Erin asked Allie.
“Going to a museum, going to a fancy dinner, going on go-karts,” he replied.
“Taking a trip somewhere,” Erin added.
Some sacrifices to stay safe were bigger than others.
Asked when he last saw his grandparents, Allie paused and replied, “Maybe like, I honestly don’t know.”READ MORE: New York Opening 18 New COVID Vaccine Pop-Up Sites For Children Statewide
His mom started tearing up, adding, “It’s been a long time.”
“If we can vaccinate our populations across the ages, we can get to herd immunity,” said Dr. Sharon Nachman, of Stony Brook University Hospital.
Dr. Nachman explained Stony Brook was one of only two sites in the state to do a children’s clinical vaccination trial. This one studied children with serious underlying health issues, like Allie.
“Knowing that this is one less disease that they have to worry about, one less infection, is just wonderful relief for all of them,” she said.
“Were there any nerves at all with letting your child be one of the first to take it?” Layton asked Allie’s mom.
“I can see how people might think that,” Erin Fiero replied. “But I have to tell you, I personally didn’t feel nervous.”
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With confidence in science and a craving to get life back to normal, Allie now has his first dose of the kids Moderna vaccine. His second is in early December.
“I’ll get to see all my friends again,” he said.
The thought of seeing her boy get back to doing what kids should be doing makes mom emotional. It’s been a long road for all of us.
“I am right there with you. It’s been hard on so many levels,” Layton told her. “Who are you most excited to see again?”
“I miss my family, my parents, my siblings. And I have a group of girlfriends who mean the world to me, and I haven’t seen them. I can’t wait to get back to see them,” Erin Fiero replied.
“”We’re good, we got this, we made it,” she told Allie.MORE NEWS: CDC Steps Up Screening For Omicron Variant At Area Airports
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.