The FDA has backed Pfizer’s lower dose for children ages 5-11, something that health experts in the valley say is the first step to ensuring less pediatric hospitalizations due to Covid-19.
This Tuesday the FDA voted to recommend this vaccine, with one abstention, which is that the dose’s benefits outweighs any potential risks, including the heart related side effects that have been rare in teens.
“A little bit surprised it wasn’t done earlier. There’s been some discussion of Miocarditis in young males, which is something we can’t measure until it happens and so that was one of the concerns. But overall the risks of getting the disease versus the risk of having a secondary effect to the vaccine are much greater. Most of in health care strongly endorse it,” said Dr. Ivan Melendez.
Veronica Garza, mother of a 6-year old, says once the vaccine is available for her daughter, she will receive it. As getting it will give her some piece of mind, especially in school.
“Sadly, our children academically have been delayed and there’s been some regression. I think having this vaccine will help eliminate the masks later on so that our children can get back up to par on what they used to be before Covid,” said Garza.
Dr. Melendez says in a situation where a child is immunocompromised, the vaccine will be essential.
“Of those 600 plus children that have died in our country and those 6 that have died in our county, the vast majority are immunocompromised, in our country, 5 of them were. We understand that those people that are immunosuppressed like diabetes, general birth defects, chronic respiratory problems, the children that have these diseases sometimes can not illicit a good immune response,” shared Dr. Melendez.
The Pfizer doses that are believed to be administered equal a third of the doses generally applied by those older than 12.
Next week the CDC panel must decide if they will recommend the doses for children ages 5-11.