DENVER (CBS4) – Promising news from Pfizer. A recent study shows the COVID vaccine is safe for children ages 12-15. However, FDA approval is still pending. This could mean middle school students get a bit of normalcy by the end of the year.

“In March of last year we initially thought it was just an extra long break,” remembers Mateo Fleischer.

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A year later, Fleischer is still feeling the weight of the pandemic as he tries to excel through distance learning at school.

“There’s just no teacher-student interaction, no student-student interaction,” he said.

When news spread of a possible vaccine that could be introduced for middle school students, it was a glimmer of hope. Fleischer was concerned for members of his family, including his brother with asthma and his grandfather, who is in the higher risk category.

“I’m really happy because my whole family can now be vaccinated,” said Fleischer.

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Doctors at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children are also optimistic about progress, as it could help prevent hospitalizations.

(Photo by Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images)

“Unfortunately, in one hospital that we see, we have nine patients with COVID in the hospital, one of whom is very, very sick,” said Dr. Reginald Washington, RMHC’s Chief Medical Officer.

Washington says they ranged from healthy young patients to patients with underlying problems, but there was no common thread. He believes COVID-19 will stay here, especially when strains mutate.

“Everyone is vulnerable. We just don’t know who will handle it well and who won’t, so everyone should be careful, “Washington said.

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For this reason, he wants people to know, even with vaccinations, that everyone should wash their hands frequently, wear masks, and socially distance themselves from others.