Very young kids may soon get COVID vaccinations

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GUILDERLAND – Guilderland Pediatrician Dr. James Saperstone says his patients have been asking him since the pandemic began about protecting all members of their family.

"What’s wonderful is I would say 80% of the time I go in the room with young kids, and they go, ‘When?’ I go, ‘I don’t know, but I hope it’s soon.’

Now soon is a little bit sooner.

Clinical trials done by Moderna involving 7,000 young volunteers ranging in age from six months to five years had a similar immune response as young adults when given a dose one-fourth as strong.

"Of all of the kids that they studied," Saperstone pointed out, "no one got severely ill and no one had major side effects."

The only side effects were fever, which is typical when young children are immunized.

"The efficacy at preventing COVID isn’t great, it’s about 40% or 50%," Saperstone stated. "But the efficacy to prevent severe illness and hospitalization is very robust."

Even if emergency authorization is granted by the FDA, Saperstone realizes many parents will remain on the fence.

"Most parents don’t push back [when asked why they’re not vaccinated]," he said. "Some do get angry and tell me it’s none of my business, and I politely say it is my business because the care of you is just as important as the care of your child."

Moderna says they are also studying the effectiveness of booster shots for young children. If the FDA approves the emergency authorization request, shots could begin going into arms in about one month.