Savannah doctor prepared for authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger teens

Savannah doctor prepared for authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger teens

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A member of the federal government says the FDA is set to authorize use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12-15 next week.

While the process is not official yet, a local pediatric infectious disease doctor discussed what you need to know.

Pfizer submitted data from their clinical trial with more than 2,000 kids aged 12-15 back in March. The results showed positive signs for local doctors.

“Preliminary results from that that have been made available is that one it has the same safety profile as we learned from the adult trials and it appears that in younger kids the protective antibody response may even be better than we have in the adult population, meaning the generates really high amount of antibody that helps protect them against COVID-19,” Pediatric Infectious Disease Dr. Stephen Thacker said.

Dr. Thacker says from what they have seen, children seem to have the same reactions to the vaccine as adults. It’s believed approval for Pfizer’s vaccine could come next week.

With this conversation underway, Memorial Health leaders say they are already planning how they will be able to offer the vaccine to those 12 to 15.

“We’re already partnering with local pediatricians just to help them in their vaccination efforts. It may not be that a big mass vaccination site is the right answer for this current need so how do we partner as a pediatric community to make sure that we’ve got access for everybody’s patient to the vaccine and so the Children’s Hospital of Savannah will definitely be a part of that solution for our community,” Dr. Thacker said.

Right now, in the state of Georgia, only 12.4 percent of the population aged 15-19 have gotten one dose of the vaccine, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Hesitancy is something Dr. Thacker says the medical community will need to address with kids and their parents.

“Really even further motivate us that as healthcare communities and departments of public health and advocates for vaccine to really make sure we’re engaging with parents and with those that are not parents that are on the bubble on whether or not they want to pursue vaccination for themselves because I feel very strongly that it will benefit those parents, it will benefit their children and most importantly everyone who is around that child,” Dr. Thacker said.

Dr. Thacker says now is a good time to schedule your child’s checkup where you can ask your doctor questions about the vaccine face-to-face and get the answers you need.

All three vaccines currently on the market are running clinic trials for younger kids. Dr. Thacker says Pfizer’s data on kids 5 and up should be ready late this summer.

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