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It is a potentially game-changing development, especially when it comes to schools getting back to normal during this pandemic.
Pfizer ran trials on its vaccine with 5- to 11-year-old children, using one-third of the adult dosage, but says it found the same effectiveness and very few side effects.
Lizbet Leon has been waiting for that news. She wants her daughter Zoe, who’s five years old, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
“Absolutely, especially for her, she’s in remission for cancer, so she needs to be vaccinated and she needs people around her to be vaccinated,” Leon said.
Pfizer says its research this trial showed the vaccine is safe for an age group that has not been protected against COVID-19, the elementary school-age kids.
“100%, this will make a difference in schools,” said Dr. Ronald Ford, the chief medical officer of Joe DiMaggio CHildren’s Hospital. “Side effects were minimal, they were all self-limited so it looks like a win-win for our community, the children in our community and their families. Parents have been clamoring for this for months now, this puts a smile on the face of every pediatrician across the country.”
Some parents and grandparents were smiling, too, as they picked up their kids at Hollywood Hills Elementary School Monday.
“You know, it’ll give us an opportunity to do more things with our children because we’ll feel better that they’re protected,” said Andrew Golden, a father, who added that he would get his kids vaccinated as soon as he could.
Patricia Navias was picking up her grandson at the school. She said, “of course” she wants him to be vaccinated. I asked her why, since so many adults oppose this vaccine.
“Well, you know what? I want to be on the safe side, and I want him to be safe and I want to live,” Navias said.
“I actually have five kids in that age group,” said Kristina Ginsberg, who was waiting outside Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and added that she would not be getting them vaccinated.
“No, every single one of us has had COVID already and I just feel like our natural immunity is going to be better than anything else we could possibly take or do,” Ginsberg said.
Dr. Ford is imploring all parents to listen to the advice of their pediatricians about the vaccine. The superintendents of our school districts made statements Monday in support of all students being vaccinated when the vaccine is approved by the FDA for children. That could happen as soon as next month. At that point, it will be interesting to see if Florida adds it to the losing list of vaccines already required to attend school in this state.