FDA May Authorize COVID-19 Vaccine For Children This Week
(WXYZ) – Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young children could be cleared by the FDA this week. If approved, children between the ages of 5 and 11 could potentially start getting the vaccine in the first two weeks of November. In the meantime, the CDC says there is one important thing to do while we wait.
Dr Rochelle Walensky talks about masks. I agree with her. Children are now more vulnerable to infection due to the more contagious Delta variant. Especially children who attend in-person learning at school. Having our children wear masks is not only safe, it is also a very effective preventive measure. There is a lot of science that supports this.
Studies have shown that schools that do not mask themselves are more likely to have outbreaks of COVID-9 than schools that require masks. Please do not throw away the masks. Even though Pfizer’s lower dose vaccine – which is 10 micrograms instead of 30 – is approved for children aged 5 to 11, we should continue with preventative measures. Since it will take some time for the vaccines to be deployed and for the children to be vaccinated. I am delighted that we will soon know if the vaccine is available. Tomorrow, the FDA’s independent vaccine advisory board will meet to review Pfizer’s clinical data. If the green light is given, the CDC advisory board will meet next week, November 1-2 for their discussions.
Even as our number of COVID cases continues to decline, we are heading into the winter months. This means that more people are inside and more possibilities for the virus to infect others. What parents need to know is that children in the United States make up about a quarter of COVID-19 cases reported each week. Yes, their risk of hospitalization and serious illness is lower, but it still happens.
Sadly, there have been over 600 pediatric deaths so far. Wouldn’t it be great if fewer children died from COVID? It is a real possibility. Pfizer clinical trial data suggests its vaccine was 90.7% effective against symptomatic illnesses in children 5 to 11 years old. If the FDA, CDC, and their independent agencies determine that Pfizer’s vaccine for young children is safe and effective, then I will not only approve but also have two of my children in this age group vaccinated. Children, in my opinion, should be protected. Vaccines for young children will help with herd immunity. This will help to reign in this pandemic.
Partha Nandi, MD FACP
CEO & Creator
Ask Dr Nandi, Emmy Award-Winning TV Show
International bestselling author, Ask Dr Nandi: 5 Steps To Becoming Your Own #HealthHero For Longevity, Well-Being & A Happy Life
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