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Health Insider discusses COVID-19 vaccine for kids

Posted at 11:22 AM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 14:22:55-04

On Monday, Pfizer announced its late-stage trials of the COVID-19 vaccine show it's safe and highly effective in children ages 5 to 11.

ABC15's Health Insider Dr. Shad Marvasti says the announcement could not come at a better time, as there are a record number of COVID cases in children. He says the Delta variant is what’s causing numbers to spike, with about 30,000 kids hospitalized last month.

He says Pfizer is sending their data in for peer review, then it will go to the FDA for approval. He says that could happen as early as Halloween.

He says the dose would be smaller than what children 12 and up receive.

“Because you don’t want to do too high of a dose, especially in children. But at the same time, you don’t want to lower the dose so low that it has no effect. So that’s the sweet spot that they tried to find with this research,” Dr. Marvasti said.

If your child is 11 and about to turn 12, he says you may want to ask your pediatrician which dose they should receive. However, he says more data is expected to come out as Pfizer gets closer to approval.

Dr. Marvasti says a common question parents are asking is why their child needs to get vaccinated if they are healthy and have a good immune system. He says while the risk is lower, the Delta variant has increased the hospitalization and death rate in children. He says some children are also experiencing long-term side effects from COVID-19.

“Your child could be otherwise healthy and have a mild or moderate rate where they don’t get hospitalized and they recover, but they don’t fully recover because they have long COVID and we don’t have any way of predicting whether your child is going to be spared of long COVID or not,” he said.