SAN ANTONIOA – Pfizer is seeking approval for the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five and up, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hear the data in a few weeks. San Antonio pediatricians say they’re ready to answer parents’ questions and concerns about the vaccine.
Dr. Robert Sanders, associate medical director of PediExpress with University Health, says his youngest child is 11 years old and ready to get her vaccine once it gets emergency use authorization by the FDA, expected in a few weeks.
“We really want all children vaccinated. But the children with underlying health conditions -- like asthma, like diabetes, heart conditions, immune suppression -- these are all children who really, really need to get the vaccine as soon as it’s authorized,” Sanders said.
The vaccine is expected to be authorized for children 5-11 years old by around Thanksgiving.
“The studies are good, and it’s going to be a big game-changer for our children here in San Antonio,” Sanders said.
The side effects are the same seen in adults, which can last 1 to 2 days. While the severity of COVID-19 on most children is mild, it’s not true for all. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported more than 500 child deaths in the U.S. There are currently 20 children with COVID-19 at Bexar County hospitals.
For those sick children Dr. Sanders sees with COVID-19, he says it’s not a small deal. It can lead to weeks of recovery, missing school and trouble breathing.
Metro Health says it will count on local pediatric offices to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to children once it’s approved. The age group they really want to target to get vaccinated is those between 12 to 29 years old.
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