Pfizer vaccine close to getting approval for children ages 12-15
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is close to being used in Europe for children between the ages of 12 and 15. And the Food and Drug Administration could approve it for use among young teens as soon as next week.
Parents will soon have to decide whether they will allow their children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Rick Baeta is a father to a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old. He says that he would absolutely allow them to get the vaccine.
“They need to feel safer. They just recently had a loss in the family of a 51-year-old uncle and everyone feels they’ll be safer with the vaccination,” he says.
Baeta says that he thinks that giving young people the vaccine will allow them to stay in the classroom and stay safe on the school bus and at sporting events.
“My one girl is staying home from school – a track star. She doesn’t want to get contact tracing. At this point we want them all vaccinated as much as possible,” he says.
But other parents say that they aren’t so sure about having their children vaccinated.
“I know it’s not FDA approved and so there are still question marks. I know for the greater good, it's the right thing,” Rick Scoville. “I think it’s a tough call. I don’t know how you could not be concerned.”
In clinical trials of 2,000 children aged 12-15, the efficacy rate of the Pfizer vaccine came in at 100%. Pediatricians are recommending parents have their children vaccinated.
“It is very safe and it’s safer to give them the vaccine than to not give the vaccine, so long as the virus is in the community,” says Dr. Lawrence Kleinman of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson.
Kleinman has a 4-year-old daughter.
“I’m eagerly awaiting the time when the tests will be completed to get the vaccine down to that age group,” he says.
Kleinman says that there are too many unknowns about the long-term effects of the virus to risk not getting the vaccine.
Kleinman says studies are being performed right now on children between the ages of 5 and 11. If data is favorable he expects vaccination for younger children could be approved before the end of 2021. He suggests that families will need to social distance if children are not vaccinated and continue to use masks in public.