Vermont pediatric infectious disease specialist confident in vaccine for kids

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Pfizer is officially asking the government for the greenlight to give the COVID-19 vaccine to kids 5-11.

The latest data from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows children make up more than one-quarter of new COVID cases nationwide.

Your kid could be eligible to get the shot in a matter of weeks if regulators agree it’s safe for this younger population.

Right now, the vaccine is only approved for people 12 years and older.

As the delta variant becomes more prevalent, doctors say the number of children who are infected, sick and hospitalized has skyrocketed compared to this time last year.

An estimated 6 million U.S. children have contracted the virus and more than 600 have died as a result. Countless others suffer from severe complications.

Dr. Benjamin Lee, a pediatric infectious disease specialist who practices at the UVM Children’s Hospital, says he’s confident drug manufacturers are prioritizing safety in their studies on kids.

Lee says if there were serious problems with administering the Pfizer vaccine to kids 6-11, we’d already know by now.

“Historically when we talk about vaccine side effects, even severe side effects, really it’s been very well recognized that those side effects tend to manifest within one to two months of the vaccine dose. There really aren’t any examples of side effects from vaccination being detected years down the road,” Lee said.

The doctor says he wants to debunk the misconception that vaccines require years of extensive data to determine whether they’re safe. That’s why he’s encouraging parents to protect their kids from this virus as soon as they can.

Pfizer previously announced that a lower dose of its vaccine is effective in youngsters.

FDA advisers are scheduled to debate the evidence later this month.

Copyright 2021 WCAX. All rights reserved.