Pfizer says vaccine 90% effective in children ages five to 11, local doctors weigh in on next steps

Local News

Baton Rouge, La (BRPROUD) – Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is over 90 percent effective in children as young as five. Local doctors say this is a great step toward vaccinating children here in Louisiana.

“The goal is to continue to vaccinate a larger and larger part of the population,” said VP Medical Affairs Ochsner Baton Rouge Dr. Ralph Dauterive.

“The opportunity for kids to get vaccinated is exciting. The data show significant protection against symptomatic illness from COVID-19. The dose is less than that given to older individuals to minimize side effects, and the data show that it is an effective and safe vaccine to protect our younger kids.”
Michale Bolton, MD, Our Lady of the Lake.

Pfizer said their research shows their COVID-19 vaccine is effective in children between the ages five through eleven. Dauterive said children in school can contribute to the spread of the virus, so the sooner they can be vaccinated, the better.

“They hang out, and they bring viruses home and back into the family centers and so I think this is going to be the next step of trying to continue to get the herd immunity,” Dauterive said.

The dose for the five to 11 age group is expected to be smaller compared to the dose in adults.

“That’s typical, I mean doses for these types of things generally relate to body mass and you don’t need as much of the injection,” Dauterive said. “Theoretically, you decrease the dose you decrease side effects, that’s the general consensus.”

Advisers to the FDA will publicly debate the evidence next week. If the agency ultimately authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the final decision on who should receive them.

If the FDA approves the vaccine for this younger age group, the shots could start rolling out by early November. Children receiving the vaccine could be fully protected against COVID-19 by Christmas.

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