Families hopeful for vaccine emergency approval for younger children

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:07 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s close to what some would call a milestone, as children under the age of 11 could soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Our little guy is going to be five in a little less than two weeks. And for me it will come down to just looking at the data,” Greater Clark County Schools parent Allison Miller said.

Miller’s son, Gabe, is student in the Greater Clark County School District.

She and her husband have been closely watching as authorization for the last unvaccinated member of their family could soon clear hurdles.

“We have looked at the data for COVID the last couple of weeks,” Miller said. “As the Delta variant has surged here in Indiana, we have seen it in schools.”

The family has already had to quarantine for the school year.

While Miller said she has very little hesitation with the vaccine, she does want to look at research before signing up her soon to be five-year-old.

“What parents need to understand is that when the vaccine is approved, the vaccine will help protect their children from developing serious illness from COVID-19,” Chief Medical Officer for Baptist Health Floyd Dr. Emily Volk said.

Volk added that if the vaccine is approved, the hospital system will be able to begin giving the vaccine to children five to 11 within days notice.

According to Pfizer, data collected in a trial that included 2,000 children showed two shots of a lower dose of its vaccine was found to be safe.

The company added the vaccine produced antibodies that mimicked those of the 16 to 25-year-olds who are fully vaccinated.

Doctors said if approved and if vaccinated, children five to 11 may have side effects as others who have gotten the shot.

“The same side effects are similar to what children can expect,” Volk said. “And again, most side effects from vaccines are very time limited.”

At last check, more than 5.3 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19. The hope is that getting a vaccine approved will help cut down on infected children having to be hospitalized.

“I just really need to dig in and see that data for myself, but everything I have read so far is trending positively for us to say yes,” Miller said.

Pfizer said it’s already conducting tests for a vaccine for children under the age of five and expects to have those results by the end of the year.

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