LEXINGTON, Kentucky (LEX 18) — As COVID-19 cases increase in Kentucky and across the country, more children may soon be able to be vaccinated against the virus. On Monday morning, pharmaceutical company Pfizer said research results show the injection is safe and effective for children ages five to 11.
dr. Beth Hawse, a pediatrician at Commonwealth Pediatrics, welcomed this news.
“It’s so important to protect those five to 11 year olds because they’re the ones who are in school,” she told LEX 18. “It really tells me we’ll keep them in school all winter if we can get them.” vaccinated.”
According to Pfizer, in their trial, children were given two smaller doses, about a third of what adults received. They were still developing antibodies to the coronavirus at levels equivalent to those found in teens and young adults.
dr. Hawse said she’s not surprised, as babies and children tend to respond better to vaccines, with fewer side effects such as fever and pain.
“I’m so excited it only took a third of the dose to give these guys good protection,” she said. “And that’s another reason people should be reassured about this vaccine, because not only did they make sure it was safe and effective, but they went to the lowest possible dose to get an adequate immune response.”
dr. Hawse encourages families to talk to their pediatricians if they have any questions or concerns so they can be ready when the FDA approves the injection for younger children soon.
This news comes as Kentucky is a current national hot spot for coronavirus. School-age children are more likely to get sick than other age groups, and the statewide vaccination rate for children ages 12 to 17 is the lowest of any age group at 46%. Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine currently approved for children as young as 12 years old.
More information about the COVID vaccine for children can be found here.