Pfizer vaccine age could lower, convincing parents of safety may be toughest hurdle
BATON ROUGE – When kids go back to school in the fall, more of them may be vaccinated.
Pfizer announced its shots are 100 percent effective for those 12 and up. The FDA still needs to give the green light to vaccinate younger teens, and once they do, families will have a big decision to make.
“Everyone wants the best for their kids and no one wants to give them something unproven,” said Dr. Vincent Shaw with Baton Rouge General. “It will be convincing hearts and minds that we say hey come in and get your child vaccinated, but when looking at what it did to adults extrapolating back to that age group would be very important.”
Dr. Shaw says giving the shots to a younger group will help the community reach herd immunity.
“It stops the development of variants, or slows it down, and it helps lower the spread because even though they could be asymptomatic those kids could be carriers,” said Dr. Shaw.
Some families would like to wait before vaccinating their kids.
“I don’t necessarily have an issue giving them the vaccine, I would just rather wait and see how the first wave goes through,” said Doug Hines who has two young children.
“It’s a very hard decision because you don’t know if there is side effects. It might affect him when he’s older,” added another father of a small child.
Both parents said they would do whatever is best to keep their child safe.
“I think 12 is fine,” said Hines. “They're in their adolescence so maybe that's a good place to start. Once you get past that they're theoretically adults, and they can make their own decision.”
Pfizer is planning to submit its results to the Food and Drug Administration as soon as possible to expand the emergency use authorization.
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