I appreciate the questions in the OP. I think it’s important to ask them, even if we wind up right back where things were headed, because it’s important to think things like this through.
I know that, when I first heard about the mRNA vaccines in development, I anticipated that I would want one of the ones using more traditional technology. Once those mRNA vaccines were available, I’d become satisfied enough that I couldn’t wait to get it. I still thought I might hesitate before having my kids get it, with the limited safety data available.
More recently, I’ve looked into whether there were any trials of the vaccine for kids near me. I don’t know if I would have signed them up if there had been. It’s a different calculation for them than it is for me. That said, once the safety data is in, if it’s similar to the adult safety data for Pfizer, I will likely get my kids vaccinated, and I already know they are willing.
Interestingly, and tangentially related to the OP question, when I was looking into the Pfizer trials for kids, there was info there about the fact that, for kids who can’t legally give their own consent, the trial still required the child’s “assent.” It said they would explain at the child’s level the risks and benefits of the trial, and make sure the kid agreed, if the child was capable.
Ultimately, though, once the vaccine is approved, and having the safety data available, I think it will be ethical for parents to choose to vaccinate even over the child’s objection if the child doesn’t yet have the right to refuse, as long as the vaccine doesn’t pose a large risk to kids. Covid will be a top 10 cause of death for kids for 2020. And I think the other benefits already stated are also good points.
Chicken pox kills around 1 in 100,000 young kids. But the risk of death and severe illness rises with age. (More rapidly, I think, than with Covid.) It becomes a severe illness in adults. It makes sense to vaccinate young kids to keep it from circulating as much as possible, even though it doesn’t do young kids much harm. And, young kids will eventually get older and benefit from the practice as well.