With the recent announcement of positive results from a trial by vaccine maker Pfizer and partner BioNTech, the COVID vaccine may soon be available for younger children in the coming months.
Pediatricians in and around Berks County are looking forward to the first data released in Pfizer’s press release.
“I’m in a camp where I think this is a good thing,” says Dr. Olubunmi Ojikutu, a pediatrician at Reading Hospital.
so Press Release On Sept. 20, Pfizer stated that the results “showed a favorable safety profile and strong neutralizing antibody response in children aged 5-11 years.” The Pfizer vaccine is currently available for individuals over the age of 12.
It is the only vaccine used by people under the age of 18.
According to a press release, the antibody response of study participants was similar to that of people between the ages of 16 and 25, and the side effects were generally similar to those seen in the elderly.
according to the Associated Press, Pfizer plans to file an emergency use permit for this young-age vaccine with the US Food and Drug Administration before the end of the month.
Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said: , in a press release. “The results of these studies will provide a strong foundation for seeking vaccine approval for children ages 5-11 and will be urgently submitted to the FDA and other regulatory authorities.”
The vaccine must be given twice every 21 days for the child to be considered fully vaccinated.
In this study, the antibody response after the second dose was similar, but the child received a low dose that was approximately one-third the dose given to children 12 years of age and older.
Both companies plan to submit data from a full Phase 3 study for peer-reviewed scientific publications.
In contrast, increases in the delta variants show no signs of slowing down. Burkes is superior to the entire state in terms of business.
The Ministry of Health is monitoring cases of children under the age of 18. It is now known that the number of cases in children is about 11 times higher than a year ago.
According to the state, children rarely get sick and only a handful have died during a pandemic. But they can spread the disease to the elderly.
Younger age groups are much more likely to get COVID But the elderly pay the highest price..
In Berks County, there were 246 new children who tested positive for COVID from the week ending Tuesday. The total since August 16 is 763.
The uncle continues. “I think it’s good to see more people being protected by vaccines. Reducing hospitalizations, deaths, serious infections and reducing not only the rate of mutations, but also the rate of spread in the community. It has been shown. “
dr. Olbun Miojikutsu (provided by Reading Hospital)
She said the news was encouraging and encouraged to hear as the medical community waited for the latest information on the exam.
“I hope the full data is as encouraging as the preliminary data suggests,” Ojikutu said. “When I look at how well older groups are taking the vaccine, I expect the kids to do the same.”
The only information currently available for this exam is the information in the company’s press release. More information will be available when Pfizer accesses the application and begins the emergency authorization process.
dr. Jessica Ericsson, pediatric infectious disease physician at Pensate Health Children’s Hospital, said the good news is that Pfizer has a timeline when it plans to apply, even if details aren’t available yet.
dr. Jessica Ericsson (provided by Pennsylvania State Health Department)
“I think it’s exciting for us to take the next step,” she said. “We think it’s going to be a bad winter, so we really want to have these as an option for little kids at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and to move in the winter. It would be nice if we could get the COVID off the table for this. “
dr. Karen Wan, director of pediatric services at the Burkes Community Health Center, says Ericsson can reduce children’s chances of contracting COVID as the winter season approaches and reduce illnesses traditionally associated with the winter months. I shared my hope.
dr. Karen Wang (provided by Burks Community Health Center)
“Currently, all the pediatricians and children in the province are very overwhelmed with the situation where they are trying to deal directly with the children who have returned to school,” he said. When I think about having a child over the age of 5, I think everyone at school shouldn’t have much to worry about COVID infections. That’s a lot of parents and school staff. If only a significant number of children can be vaccinated, the face-to-face meeting of all children will be much less traumatic. “
Vaccination for children
No plans have been announced on how to deploy the vaccine for the age group.
Ojikutu hopes that as the results of clinical trials go through a peer-reviewed and approved process, there will be more discussions about where the clinic is and how it works.
The king said there were some extra layers in vaccinated children. Healthcare professionals have experience with regular vaccination issues that children need and COVID vaccination for children aged 12 to 17.
All children under the age of 18 must obtain permission from their parent or legal guardian to receive the vaccine. Even if a child wants to be vaccinated, they cannot be vaccinated without the consent of their parents or legal guardian.
In addition, the king said younger children often want to bring their parents or guardians with them if they are vaccinated and tend to be afraid of shooting.
For this reason, she said, it would be ideal to involve health care professionals who have vaccinated children.
Based on results shared by Pfizer, younger children receive lower doses of the vaccine than older age groups. Vaccines and drugs are not uncommon in children who receive different doses than in adults and older children.
“I want to say that children are not little adults, but have their own physiology,” Ojikutu said. “When we do this test on children, you don’t just understand which dose works. You really have to measure the immune response they produce. You have to measure. I want to escape with as little medicine as possible to get the job done safely. “
Ericsson said that is why pediatric studies are being done separately.
“The first step, so to speak, is to determine the dose that will give the group the type of immune response needed to prevent the disease,” Ericsson said.
In this case, the study showed that the immune response was very similar in this low-dose age group and in the high-dose elderly group, Ojikutu said. Children older than 12 years receive the same dose as adults.
Ericsson said it is a medical standard to divide children into two groups, 5 to 11 years old and 12 to 17 years old. She said that children usually reach puberty around age 12 and their bodies begin to act like adults.
“Children have a stronger immune system,” said the king. “Their immune system reacts much faster when presented with a task. Therefore, when exposed to the cold virus, the child’s immune system bursts into antibodies and immediately protects. This applies to all diseases in the vast majority of children with normal immune systems. “
A person’s immune system naturally weakens with age. Therefore, adults need higher doses.
“There is no reason to believe that the (vaccine) is extremely ineffective and … very safe,” Wang said.
Safe and effective
As Pfizer approaches an emergency application, pediatricians recommend that anyone currently vaccinated should be vaccinated, and those who are not yet familiar with it talk to a trusted health care provider. increase.
“I try to encourage all parents to trust science,” Wang said. “Know that vaccines older than 12 years are currently very effective and very safe. It protects our children, protects the elderly and sends them to school as much as possible. It’s the best way you can. “
The king has confirmed to his parents that their circle has been vaccinated and has encouraged them to share their experiences during the vaccination process.
Ericsson advises parents to compare the safety of the vaccine with the safety of a COVID infection. In a direct comparison, Ericsson points out that the information shows that the vaccine is substantially safer than a COVID infection.
“Now more and more children are infected with COVID, severely infected with COVID, and eventually hospitalized both in Pennsylvania and across the country,” she said. “I have not yet confirmed what the company has said so I am not ready to make a recommendation that all children should be vaccinated. But if that’s true, these If you agree that the vaccines are safe and effective, now is the time to get them. “
“Myself, as a parent of two young children, I really want to have a safe and effective tool to prevent infections and serious complications, even in the younger age group.”
The king added that parents should also trust vaccine experts.
“The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Immunization Implementation Advisory Board are vaccine experts,” she said. “Pediatricians have been asking them for years what vaccines to give their children and when to keep us all safe and healthy. They look at the data from the trials. , If I find it safe and effective, I also find it safe and effective to give to my children and their children. “