Local doctor, parents react to status of COVID-19 vaccine for children


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As the first COVID-19 vaccine for adults and older teens rolls out in the Miami Valley, the timeline for a safe vaccine for children remains unclear.

Pfizer’s vaccine is being administered and Moderna’s vaccine is on the way, but clinical trials in children under 12 have yet to begin.

“Neither vaccine has received either emergency use or approval in children yet because those studies are still ongoing.”

While Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved for emergency authorization for people who are 16 and older. The data collection of teens is ongoing. Moderna’s vaccine is expected to be approved for people 18 and older.

In a statement to 2 NEWS Pfizer said, “We are working actively with regulators on a potential pediatric study plan. Although children infected with SARS-CoV-2 are more likely to be asymptomatic, symptomatic and sometimes serious illness occurs. In addition, children may prove important in spreading SARS-CoV-2 in the community. We are working with regulators to develop a plan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of our vaccine candidate in the pediatric population. The earlier we can understand the safety and efficacy of our vaccine candidate in this population, the sooner they may be able to receive our vaccine and the sooner we will be able to determine if the vaccination of children could prove an important public health strategy to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2.”

Health officials said it’s not unusual for researchers to test adults first. The delay, however, makes it unclear when children will have access to the vaccine leaving some parents concerned.

“What are the effects? Is it like the flu shot, do you get sick a little bit and it goes away? I would want to just know the side effects the frequency of getting it, and who qualifies and who doesn’t,” said Nikea Smith. “Because it’s just now coming out and a lot of times when things first come out there’s a lot of glitches and things that need to be changed, so right now I’m not 100 percent sold on it.”

Another parent, Gary Young said he was against it initially, but now not so much.

“With the climate. With how everything is it’s almost better to go ahead and get the vaccine and worry about it later down the line. I think jobs and schools are going to require it. I think everyone will have to take it so it’s no point in fighting it,” Young said.

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