Tags: coronavirus | vaccine | kids

COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Could Take Months

coronavirus vaccines in silver tray with needle
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 01 April 2021 12:29 PM EDT

On Wednesday, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children as young as 12 years of age. The hope is that vaccinations could begin for youngsters before school begins in the fall if the Food and Drug Administration approves.

According to The Washington Post, the sooner young people get vaccinated against COVID-19, the closer we will come to achieving herd immunity in the country. There are 73 million people under the age of 18 in the United States and certainly having them protected would be a huge leap forward not only for America but even within family groups where some individuals are vaccinated while others are not.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that older teenagers are likely to be eligible for their vaccine by the fall, but younger children will probably have to wait until 2022.

“Vaccinating the children, particularly in the context of the teachers and the parents feeling more confident as we get both high-schoolers and elementary kids back to school, that’s an important goal,” he said, according to the Post.

Moderna is conducting a trial among adolescents for its COVID-19 vaccine and the results are expected this summer.

“We hope we will be able to provide a safe vaccine to provide protection to adolescents so they can return to school in a normal setting,” said Stephanie Bancel, CEO of Moderna. The company is also testing their vaccine in 11-year-olds down to babies, says the Post. Other pharmaceutical manufacturers, such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca plan similar trials.

“There’s no question that children have a lot of consequences from the pandemic, and a vaccine provides hope as much as possible about going back to a near-normal life,” said pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Flor Munoz from Baylor College of Medicine.

Statistics show that 1 in 10 COVID-19 cases are children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. While doctors say that children, in general, are rarely severely affected by the disease, those who develop complications may suffer long-term effects, according to CNN.

And sometimes they could develop a rare, inflammatory syndrome called MIS-C, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where different parts of the body become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other orders.

While adults were the first to be targeted for vaccine priority based on their susceptibility to severe illness for COVID-19, now families are questioning why children were not included in the initial clinical trials. Dr. Robert W. Frenck Jr., director of the Vaccine Research Center and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, explains that the technology used in the new COVID-19 vaccines is relatively new and since children are less likely to become severely ill and die from the disease, it was scientifically prudent not to subject them to potentially negative side effects of the novel vaccines.

If the shots produced serious side effects or barely worked, families would have questioned why kids were used as study subjects in the first place, he said, according to the Post. Some pediatricians argue that, given the relatively low risk of severe disease to children, vaccine for kids should be held up to the highest and most rigorous testing by government agencies, and should not be rushed.

‘It’s pretty much step-by-step,” said Dr. Sharon Nachman, an international leader in the area of pediatric infectious disease at Stony Brook University in New York. “The more steps you take, the closer you get to your goal. I do think we’re definitely getting there.”

Lynn C. Allison

Lynn C. Allison, a Newsmax health reporter, is an award-winning medical journalist and author of more than 30 self-help books.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Headline
On Wednesday, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children as young as 12 years of age. The hope is that vaccinations could begin for youngsters before school begins in the fall...
coronavirus, vaccine, kids
606
2021-29-01
Thursday, 01 April 2021 12:29 PM
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