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UAB doctors weigh in on COVID-19 vaccine for children

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 6:06 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As the Delta variant continues to cause spikes in some parts of the country, especially among children, some are asking when a vaccine will be available for kids.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have started COVID-19 vaccine trials in children between ages six months and 11 years, but we still don’t know if or when they will get approval.

“So, people have a lot of questions about vaccinating children, and by children, I mean those under 12 years, since we now know we can vaccinate those above 12 years old safely and effectively,” Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, Director of UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases.

Marrazzo explains the message about young children getting vaccinated is two-fold. First, we’re still waiting for data from those trials. Second, most kids who get infected with COVID-19 have very mild symptoms or no symptoms.

“And cases of that inflammatory condition, the EMI SC inflammatory condition that we were concerned about early on, do occur, but they’re very rare. So I think the feeling, in general, has been that you’re good to wait on vaccinating kids less than 12 until we know more about the vaccines, particularly their safety in younger people,” said Marrazzo.

Marrazzo reiterated, the Pfizer vaccine is proven to be safe and effective for those 12 and older, and it’s crucial for everyone eligible to get vaccinated to protect those who aren’t.

“If you have access to getting vaccines for children in that group, I would certainly recommend going ahead and do that. It would reduce the risk that they would become sources of transmission, even if they themselves don’t necessarily get very bad COVID symptoms from getting the infection,” Marrazzo added.

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