The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as five in mid-November, prompting the company to issue a statement saying that it won’t be able to produce the vaccines until sometime during the first half of 2022.
The vaccine, widely available to teens and adults, has been under rigorous safety testing to ensure that “it doesn’t interfere with immunity generated by routine childhood vaccinations – and that standard vaccination protocols are not interfering with the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Moshe Arditi, Academic Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
Though children are less likely to contract serious cases of the coronavirus, Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer, Albert Bourla – along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA – believe that protecting them is the next step in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
“We are working with the U.S. government to help ensure communities across the country have access to pediatric doses as soon as possible. The introduction of doses for young children will be another critical milestone in addressing this public health crisis,” Bourla said.
The kids’ COVID-19 shot contains the same ingredients as the adult version, but it’s given as a smaller dose. In fact, children in the 5 to 11 age group receive about a third of the adult-sized dose.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky issued a statement saying, “There are children in the second grade who have never experienced a normal school year. Pediatric vaccination has the power to help us change all of that.”
What Do You Think?
Will your children be getting the vaccine when it becomes available? Why or why not? Have your children experienced a normal school year, or is COVID all they know? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the vaccine and whether your family will be getting it, so please share them on my Facebook page or on my Twitter feed!