COVID vaccine for younger kids may be available by October

Around 1 in 4 COVID cases are children.

Posted: Sep 21, 2021 7:52 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2021 8:13 PM

Younger kids may be able to get a special treat this Halloween. That's when experts say Pfizer's COVID vaccine for kids 5 to 11 may get emergency use authorization. The company says there are no tricks with its vaccine and called it safe and effective.

"Around 1 in 4 cases is a child, and that's a significant change compared to what we had last year. That's a huge difference," Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Ali Hassoun said.

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He says a COVID vaccine for kids would be a game changer.

"Hopefully, we can cut down on the transmission and by cutting down on that transmission we can cut down on the replication and mutation," Dr. Hassoun explained.

But. there are a few things that need to happen before kids 5 to 11 will be able to get vaccinated. Pfizer needs to publish the data from its clinical trial and submit it to the FDA. The agency then has to review all that information before making a decision. That whole process is expected to take weeks.

Dr. Hassoun says he's seen a wide variety of reactions from parents.

"I know parents that are willing, who want to do it as soon as it's approved. I know some parents who say they will wait and see. I know some who say they will never do it," Dr. Hassoun explained.

But, Dr. Hassoun says the vaccine would not only help stop the spread, but also prevent any new COVID variants from forming.

"It's another important step in fighting and getting over the pandemic hopefully," Dr. Hassoun said. "Since there is no vaccine at this time, health experts recommend kids continue to take the proper precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing to stay safe."

Health experts say since no vaccine has been authorized at this time the best things kids could do to stay safe is wear a mask and social distance.

Dr. Hassoun says it's too early to tell if there will be any COVID vaccine mandates for schools. He says it all depends on what happens in the next year.

He explains if things continue to be like how they are now chances are there will be a mandate for schools to try to keep schools open for face to face learning and avoid outbreaks. Dr. Hassoun says the vaccine will need full FDA approval if it is mandated and it's unclear when that might happen.

The decision for a school vaccine mandate will be made by the state health department.

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