Testing COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in children

Testing COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in children

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Pfizer’s vaccine has been administered to more than two million Georgians as of Thursday, April 1.

It is the only vaccine approved for those 16 and up and new data from the company says it is effective for those in the 12-15 age range as well.

“It appears that children 12-16 generated more antibody response than those 16 and older, suggesting that it will be a very effective vaccine for kids in that age,” Memorial Health Pediatric Infectious Disease Dr. Stephen Thacker said.

Dr. Thacker says while this is positive, there is still a process ahead. He guesses the data could be reviewed by the FDA in May, with vaccinations to follow possibly in June. He says getting children vaccinated is critical for the future.

“The children are going to be the biggest piece of the puzzle for us to reach heard immunity, so you know about 20 percent of the US population is in that pediatric age range and so until we can get vaccine available to children and provided, we won’t reach that community protection that we need,” Dr. Thacker said.

Hesitation of vaccines for children is a continual battle, but Dr. Thacker says as a dad himself this vaccine provides several benefits.

“Knowing what I know ‚that they could be infected with the virus, that they could share with other individuals who may become more sick, or even have their life threatened from this infection that’s one reason for me to want to provide the vaccination for my children. I do not want them to be the source of someone else’s illness. Two, I know that there are complications, while rare they exist of children who are infected with COVID-19 and develop post infectious complications that can also be life threatening,” Dr. Thacker said.

Dr. Thacker said the vaccine is one way to ensure further protection against COVID-19.

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