(WXYZ) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger children could be authorized by the FDA this week. If approved, kids between the ages of 5 and 11 could potentially start getting vaccinated in the first two weeks of November. In the meantime, the CDC says there’s one important thing to do while we wait.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky is talking about masks. I agree with her. Children are more vulnerable now to infection because of the more contagious Delta variant. Especially the kids who are attending in-person learning at school. Having our children wear masks is not only safe, but it’s also a very effective preventative measure. There is plenty of science that backs this up.
Studies have shown that schools that don’t mask up are more likely to have COVID-9 outbreaks compared to schools that do require masks. Please do not ditch the masks. Even if Pfizer‘s lower dose vaccine – which is 10 micrograms instead of 30 - is approved for kids 5 to 11, we should continue with preventative measures. As it’ll take some time for the vaccines to roll out and for kids to get the shots. I’m excited that we’ll know soon if the vaccine is a go. Tomorrow, the FDA’s independent vaccine advisory board is meeting to review Pfizer’s clinical data. If given the green light, then the CDC’s advisory board meets next week, Nov. 1 and 2 for their discussions.
Even if our COVID case numbers continue to go down, we are heading into the winter months. This means more people are indoors and more opportunity for the virus to infect others. What parents need to know is that kids in the US make up about a quarter of the weekly reported COVID-19 cases. Yes, their risk of hospitalization and severe disease is lower – still, it does happen.
Sadly, there has been over 600 pediatric deaths so far. Wouldn’t it be great, if fewer kids died from COVID? That’s a real possibility. Pfizer’s clinical trial data suggests that its vaccine was 90.7% effective against symptomatic disease in kids 5 to 11. If the FDA, the CDC, and their independent agencies determine that Pfizer’s vaccine for younger kids is safe and effective, then I will not only endorse it, but I’ll also have two of my kids in that age group get vaccinated. Kids, in my opinion, should be protected. Vaccines for younger kids will help with herd immunity. It’ll help reign in this pandemic.
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