TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Both Pfizer and BioNTech announced they submitted an emergency request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the companies’ two-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children.
An FDA advisory committee plans to meet in late October to discuss it.
The COVID shot would be for ages 5 to 11. If authorized, Pfizer’s vaccine would be the first one in the U.S. for children under 12.
“I think this is another step forward and I think the step that a lot of us in the pediatric community and pediatric infectious disease community have kind of been waiting for,” said Dr. Patrick Gavigan, a doctor for Pediatric Infectious Disease.
East Texas parents have mixed opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine for children. While some are relieved to get their kids vaccinated, others are a little hesitant.
Jade, an East Texas mother of three, said she is against the vaccine.
“I don’t really want my children to be part of an experimental shot,” said Jade.
She and her children are unvaccinated and does not plan on letting them get the shot. She added that so far, none of them have had COVID-19.
“I really feel like these vaccines are so experimental we you know we don’t really know into the future what kind of effects it’s going to have, what kind of long-term damage if any,” said Jade, who chose not to give her last name.
On the other hand, another East Texas mother of two, Abbey Clark is in favor of the vaccine.
“As soon as it’s available, they’re gonna get vaccinated and I can’t wait,” said Clark.
Clark is vaccinated and believes the chance for protection outweighs any potential risk.
“I too also have a little bit of that fear, but the fear of my children being on a respirator is bigger than the fear of a vaccine maybe going wrong,” added Clark.
Pfizer reported seeing a strong antibody response in a trial with more than 2,000 children. They were given a third of the adult dose.
Doctors like Gavigan said the vaccine is the key to getting back to normal.
“Vaccination is really our only path forward to getting rid of you know the masks and all of the social distancing and virtual learning,” stated Gavigan.
Data from the American Academy of pediatrics shows nearly 5.9 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.