FDA meets Tuesday to discuss child vaccines

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Lee County students in masks. Credit: WINK News

As early as next week, young children may be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The FDA is meeting Tuesday to discuss a request from Pfizer and BioNTech to allow the administration of vaccines to children age 5 to 11.

All of the physicians WINK News spoke with for this story have gotten their children vaccinated if they are over the age of 12 and plan to do the same with their kids that are under the age of 12, too. Every single vaccine is given out in a different dosage for a child versus an adult, usually based upon the weight of the person receiving it. Pediatricians even have something called the  American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book which lays out the standard operating procedure when it comes to treating children for different illnesses using different vaccines.

If you decide that your young child should get the vaccine, you are likely wondering how to go about getting it.

“There’s definitely lots of ways to get vaccines into children,” said Dr. Rebekah Bernard with Gulf Coast Direct Primary Care. “I would say one of the best ways is for the kid’s pediatrician or family physician to administer those vaccines, just like we administer flu shots and lots of other vaccinations. And we’ve always counted on the health department for pediatric vaccinations. They do an amazing job and I’ve sent many children over there for their immunizations.”

Lee Health says it will offer the vaccine for young children as soon as it’s approved.

“For vaccinations, for flu shots, for example, we have smaller doses for children,” Bernard said. “And, of course, that will likely be the recommendation for the COVID-19 vaccine for under 12. It will be based on usually weight, although it could be age, and we’ll be dosing smaller doses for smaller people.”

Pediatricians with private practices in Southwest Florida could not yet say how they will distribute the vaccine, as they say they are still waiting to learn how they will receive the vaccine.

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