Results coming on vaccine safety for children under 12

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Child getting ready for a vaccination. Credit: WINK News

When will we know when vaccinations will be safe and potentially approved for children under 12? Doctors say the results from Pfizer testing could come out as early as August, but most likely it won’t be until later in the fall that we have safety information for kids ages 5 to 11 regarding the vaccine.

Experts say the Delta variant has intensified the need for vaccinations for young people. The early version of the virus did not affect children very much, but the variant is spreading more aggressively, especially in younger people. Doctors say they’re seeing that younger group becoming more sick than they were before, so they believe a safe and effective vaccine is an important strategy in getting kids back to in-person learning as much as possible.

President Joe Biden says an emergency use authorization will likely be used to get kids vaccinated as soon as possible.

“It tells me that government officials are identifying that this is a serious problem now for our children as well as for our older individuals, or there’s concern that it’s going to be a big problem for children in the future,” said Dr. Rebekah Bernard with Gulf Coast Primary Care. “And they want to get ahead of that or get aggressive with that as soon as possible.”

For those parents who are questioning how safe a vaccine might be for the younger age groups, Bernard says we’re not going to see a premature recommendation of this vaccine until there is enough data for experts to feel comfortable saying that kids will be safe from any possible side effects.

“The question that we all have to ask ourselves: Is it more dangerous to get the vaccine? Or is it more dangerous to get COVID[-19]? Right now, for adults and for anyone 16 and older, I would say that we have very strong data that says that it is much safer to get the vaccine than it is to wait and get COVID[-19].”

Doctors say there’s nothing in the world that doesn’t have some potential risk to it, but in this case, the benefits of a vaccine would far outweigh any risks.

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