ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12 may be right around the corner. Pfizer said its latest trial shows the company’s vaccine is safe and effective at generating a ‘robust’ antibody response in kids ages 5-11. Some parents are split on what the news means for their children.
“I’m just happy that they’re coming out with vaccines for kids. We’re very, very anxious to get them vaccinated as soon as they can,” said Jacinta Rupprecht, a mother in Albuquerque.
“I believe COVID is a very real thing and has hurt a lot of people and has killed people, but I also think we have to look at the numbers and be rational about it. And until there are long-term studies, I think it’s the wrong thing to do to approve it for children that young,” said another mom in Albuquerque who did not want to share her name.
Pfizer said kids 5-11 were given two doses of the vaccine, 21 days apart. Each dose was about a third of what adults were given. According to a news release, the side effects were similar to what vaccinated adults experienced.
“I know that the side effects are way less risky than actually contracting COVID and I just want to keep them safe. I trust the science,” said Rupprecht. “My kids are vaccinated for everything. We do the flu vaccine as well. You know, it was only 50 years ago that polio was rampant and no matter what people think about vaccines, I’m just glad we don’t have to deal with polio anymore.”
“If you take into account that young children especially are the lowest risk of getting severe symptoms or dying of COVID, I don’t think it’s necessary for children of this age. Not until they do some longer-term trials,” said another mother in Albuquerque.
According to the latest pediatric report from the state, pediatric cases made up about a fourth of the state’s COVID-19 cases. According to that same report, pediatric hospitalizations make up 1.6% of all of the state’s COVID hospitalizations throughout the pandemic. Recently, the state’s Department of Health said for every one case in a child, they believe about four others went unreported because the case may be been milder.
Pfizer plans to submit its trial results to the FDA by the end of the month with the hopes of vaccinating kids ages 5-11 by Halloween. It expects vaccine results for children under five by the end of the year.