TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The United States Food and Drug Administration plans to meet on Tuesday to discuss authorizing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.
It’s the beginning of the authorization process. The final decision could be made next week, then shots will go into arms shortly after.
If approved, nearly 30 million children could be eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine as the school year’s first semester ends.
“I would not get my kids vaccinated. Not until there’s been enough research,” Jillian Kraus, a parent told 8 On Your Side when asked about the vaccine for kids.
But other parents think vaccines for kids couldn’t come soon enough.
“If we can get eventually as many of the kids vaccinated as the adults we can get a lot closer to getting back to a normal way of life,” said another parent, Steve Morris.
Dr. David Berger, a Tampa pediatrician who is testifying before the advisory board on Tuesday, says there are number of things to consider: What are the chances a child could become seriously ill with the virus and be hospitalized? Could the child bring home the virus and put others at risk? Do they have older family members with health issues who have not been vaccinated?
“My recommendation is for people to weigh those pros vs. cons so that they can figure out what the best is for themselves. I know millions of families will rush out and do it right away,” Dr. Berger said. “Certainly kids that are immunodeficient, certainly any kids who have any kind of cardiac or respiratory issues, they’re obviously going to be the ones more at risk. Unfortunately, there are also some children who are very obese as well. The same types of risk factors that we heard about for adults and adolescents are going to be in play here.”
But Dr. Berger said he believes he benefits outweigh the risks.
The Pfizer vaccine for kids is said to be 90% effective. Each dose is one-third the amount given to teens and adults.
Meanwhile, Moderna said this week that it’s vaccine triggered a “robust” immune response in children ages 6 to 11. Most side effects were mild to moderate.