Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids age 5-11: How parents can prepare

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Since the Pfizer vaccine designed in a smaller dose size for children 5-11 cleared the hurdle of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for emergency use authorization, Rochester Regional has important updates for parents. 

Doctors today spoke to reporters about how they can learn more and get ready to give their child in this age group an appointment for their first dose.  

While waiting for the second approval from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), Doctors at Rochester Regional say now is the time for parents to be speaking with pediatricians to learn everything about how the vaccine can benefit their kids and how to schedule appointments.

For one Rochester woman who is thousands of miles from her grandson, learning of this could not have been better. 

For Elvira Young, the thought of being able to see her grandson down in North Carolina for the first time in two years without any concerns of catching COVID-19 brought her to tears.  

“I haven’t seen him in a long time, and he’s done a lot of growing up,” Young said. “So, I know he’s been waiting to see me at least almost two years now.”  

Its reasons like this are why doctors with Rochester Regional explain children in this age group should be vaccinated, to avoid spreading it to those around them more vulnerable plus avoiding quarantine from going to school.  

“From a public health perspective getting 28 million more Americans vaccinated is going to have a big benefit,” Dr. Michael Pichichero said. “For reducing the likelihood of variants emerging and partially escaping the vaccines.” 

Of the more than 2200 children in Pfizer’s initial study, more than 90% were able to fight off getting infected. In some cases, boys did have the muscles of their heart get inflamed, but this can be treated within a week and is very rare.  

“The rate is estimated to be 1/125,000 vaccinations,” Dr. Pichichero argued. “Let’s put that into perspective, the likelihood of getting struck by lightning is 1/125,000. More importantly, the likelihood you will have a fatal automobile accident is 1/100.” 

“My grandson is 10-years-old, and he’s really excited about getting the shot,” Young said. “And waiting for months saying Granny E when are they going to do it for me?” 

Rochester Regional Doctors then pointed to the effective rate of working in more than 90% out of the more than 2200 children in Pfizer’s initial study being the latest key layer of protection from stopping hospitals from exceeding capacity.  

“Our ICUs are full but not overflowing, so a reduction in that would be a welcoming relief,” Dr. Pichichero said. “To an escape valve for at capacity situations the hospitals of Upstate New York are facing.”  

If you are a parent of an 11-year-old who will turn 12 in a few months or fewer doctors of Rochester Regional explain you should not wait and still get them the smaller dose size because it will have the same effect regardless of their age in this matter.  

The CDC will conduct their review of Pfizer’s vaccine on Nov. 2. and if approved shipments can be sent out by the end of next week. 

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