Today marks a milestone successful the path toward availability of kids’ COVID vaccines. The FDA’s advisory sheet connected vaccines, VRBPAC, voted that the benefits outweighed the risks for Pfizer’s caller kids-only vaccine for ages 5 to 11.
The vaccine volition beryllium a little dose than the modular mentation of Pfizer that is disposable for adults and teens. It’s inactive a two-dose series, with 3 weeks betwixt doses.
Soon the FDA should officially authorize the vaccine for kids, and past the shot passes to the CDC, whose advisory panel, ACIP, meets connected Nov. 2 and 3 to marque recommendations for who should get the vaccine. That means the soonest you tin get a changeable successful your kid’s limb is apt to beryllium soon aft that—so, aboriginal November. (We person more accusation connected the process and timeline here.)
The members of the advisory sheet seemed conflicted astir whether the vaccine should beryllium authorized for each children oregon lone those astatine highest risk. In the end, they voted to authorize for everyone, but the CDC could determine to marque a narrower recommendation.
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The biggest hazard they discussed was the anticipation of bosom conditions similar myocarditis and pericarditis, which person occasionally occurred aft vaccination successful teenage boys and young men. This information is rare, but serious. Those who are acrophobic astir the hazard pointed retired that COVID is not usually superior successful children, truthful possibly the benefits lone outweigh the risks successful higher-risk kids.
On the different hand, myocarditis arsenic a vaccine complication has not yet killed anyone, portion 94 children person died of COVID since the pandemic began. We besides don’t cognize if younger children taking the pediatric vaccine dose volition person the aforesaid hazard for myocarditis arsenic older kids who got the modular dose.
When it comes to benefits of the vaccine, 1 mode to look astatine it is that COVID doesn’t usually deed kids hard. One estimation presented astatine the advisory sheet gathering is that 40% of kids successful this property radical whitethorn already beryllium immune. Of those who were hospitalized with COVID, astir two-thirds had a erstwhile wellness condition, truthful possibly determination isn’t overmuch to beryllium gained from vaccinating steadfast kids.
On the different broadside of that contented are the 94 deaths. That’s a tiny number, but it’s a batch much than zero. COVID is presently the eighth starring origin of decease successful children successful this property group. (Deaths successful children are, fortunately, rare.) Preventing infections successful kids could assistance to support much susceptible household members, and it could besides forestall agelong COVID and alteration much kids to get backmost to in-person school.
Personally, arsenic a parent, the benefits definite look similar they outweigh the risks for my steadfast kids. But I’ll beryllium paying adjacent attraction to the CDC panel’s treatment adjacent week, and it’s important to cognize what pediatricians think, too. Stay tuned for more.