Pfizer's chief scientific officer of viral vaccines answers News 12 viewer's questions about vaccines

News 12's Samantha Crawford sat down with Dr. Philip Dormitzer and had him answer questions from News 12 viewers about vaccines.

News 12 Staff

Jun 8, 2021, 2:21 PM

Updated 1,046 days ago

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News 12's Samantha Crawford sat down with Dr. Philip Dormitzer, Pfizer's vice president and chief scientific officer of viral vaccines, and had him answer questions from News 12 viewers about vaccines.
"Will elementary students be able to be vaccinated before the school year?"
"Probably October-ish is a possibility, but a lot depends on what the results of the studies are and how soon that things get authorized by FDA."
"Why do you think it is that kids appear to contract COVID-19 less than adults?"
"We think it may be their innate immune systems. Children have very strong immune reactions, and it may be that those reactions actually help protect them from COVID-19. We don't know for sure, but it's a reasonable thought."
"Where are you right now in your trials for babies?"
"We are in the process of working our way down in age and dose, and you have to be a little careful as you go to younger and younger ages, and so we do it sort of cautiously and with small doses at first and then we build up."
"Should pregnant women get vaccinated for COVID-19?"
"Yes. Each individual pregnant woman should speak about it with her physician. We have data from work called developmental and reproductive toxicity studies, where we test very large doses relative to the size in animal, in animals and they breed and have pups and all that. Everything looks good there, and the vaccine is being used by many pregnant women now and so far, everything is looking good."
"Is there any data or information you have that indicates that the vaccine is making men or women become infertile?
"I've heard the concern, but there are no concerning data. So, so far, the data look just fine for fertility. We are actually doing studies in pregnant women now. We have the animal studies where we look directly at fertility in the animals and all of that looks good. So that is not a concern that's based on any data that have emerged to date."
"Let's just say someone...their first initial vaccination was with the Pfizer vaccine. Should they stick with the Pfizer vaccine for the rest of their life or can they get Moderna? Could they get Johnson & Johnson?"
"It's a great question. So, what we have data on so far are using the same vaccine because that's how the studies are designed. There will be studies that, not necessarily Pfizer doing, but are being done around the world. There's some being done in England, for example, where people are testing what it's like to mix vaccines. So, I think those data will have to come out and be examined before we have recommendations about mixing and matching different vaccines."
"How likely do you think it would be that people who are alive today will experience another pandemic in their lifetime?"
"I'm sorry to say this, but it's pretty likely. These things come along every now and again. You know, in 2009 we had the H1N1 pandemic, which fortunately was not nearly as severe as this pandemic. But every 20, 25 years, one of these things comes along."


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