Pediatric infectious disease specialist says COVID vaccinations for children necessary to end pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Within a few weeks, children between the ages of 5 and 11 may be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer asks federal officials to give the green light to its vaccine. The CDC is expected to hear the case on October 26.

Medical experts expect the CDC to accelerate approval and the Food and Drug Administration as well. Earlier this week, there were reports in the Washington Post that the number of COVID-19 infections among children was higher in August for the first time in the pandemic than among adults and seniors.

dr. Mobeen Rathore, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, said he was not surprised.

“In Jacksonville itself, we had the worst month for children with the COVID infection, who were admitted. And also in the community when the schools opened without masks, we had a big spike in infections in children,” Rathore said.

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Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases among children, California became the first state to mandate vaccinations for children to attend public and private schools in person. Rathore believes other states should and will follow suit.

“If you already want and are serious about protecting our children from measles, mumps, rubella, polio and whooping cough, then we need this vaccine as part of the requirement for children to attend school,” Rathore said. “This is the only way to get rid of pandemics and epidemics.”

And what about children under 5 years old? Pfizer expects to release clinical trial data on how well its COVID-19 vaccine is working in children 6 months to 5 years old by the end of October.

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