Pfizer vaccine for young children moves forward
LATHAM – Drug-maker Pfizer plans to seek FDA authorization now for its COVID vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old.
Dr. Melissa Deimling is a board-certified pediatrician at Community Care Pediatrics in Latham.
"We are excited," she said. "We have our 12-and-up covered. Now we are waiting on that still-vulnerable population, the 5 to 11-year-olds. They’re in school, they’re unvaccinated. This is a chance to keep them safer, so this is really good news."
The dosages used in the Pfizer trial were about a third of what adults were given.
Pediatric COVID cases in the U.S. have jumped by 240% since July, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"Unfortunately, kids can have long-term effects of COVID. We’ve seen prolonged periods of not having your taste or your smell, extreme fatigue that can last weeks or months. We’ve seen neurologic changes, we’ve seen changes with the heart, including heart damage, that may prevent kids from being able to participate in sports and activities," said Dr. Deimling.
As the vaccine takes another step forward, it remains to be seen where and when children will be able to get it.
"I have been asked this question for probably this past year, at this point, and as a parent with children in this age range, I’m wondering the same," said Dr. Deimling. "So absolutely, I’ve been asked about this a lot. We’re happy to report that we are at this point where approval is imminent, hopefully."