Pfizer Also Announces Promising New COVID-19 Treatment
Parents all over the US are scrambling to try to find COVID-19 vaccination appointments for their children ages 5 – 11. Here is the latest on the battle to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
Children 5 – 11 Now Eligible for COVID-19 VaccineRead More »
The green light opens up eligibility for the vaccine to approximately 28 million children in the US. Walenksy is encouraging parents to talk to their pediatrician about the vaccine and to learn more about the importance of this next step in controlling the pandemic.
According to the latest CDC data, 785 kids under the age of 18 have died as a result of COVID-19 in the US alone. While the risk is low that a child will develop serious complications from the virus, they are responsible for a substantial amount of transmission. The latest report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) demonstrates that children made up about 25% of all new cases last week.
How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccination for Your Child
Now that the vaccine has been officially approved for this age group, parents are working hard to secure an appointment. The administration of Joe Biden promised last week that the White House was launching a wide-scale initiative to get the shots to the appropriate providers.
Pfizer said that they expect to ship 11 million doses of the vaccine within the next week. Experts say that the best way to get your child vaccinated as quickly as possible is to call your pediatrician. The White House effort to get shots into little arms begins with equipping these offices with the vaccine.
Health officials have acknowledged that children will likely feel more at ease if they receive the vaccination in familiar surroundings, such as their regular doctor’s office. Because of this, most areas are moving away from the mass vaccination clinics that popped up around the country last winter and spring.
If your pediatrician’s office is not yet offering the vaccine, it is a good idea to check with local pharmacies. Major chains, including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, have all announced plans to offer the vaccine to children in this age group. However, it is important to note that not all locations are set up to administer this vaccine to younger children.
Your local health department may also be a good resource when looking to secure a vaccination appointment.
According to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, the administration has procured 65 million doses of the pediatric vaccine. This will provide more than enough doses to cover all 28 million children in this age group with the necessary two shots.
What the Vaccine Means for Holiday Gatherings
The availability of the vaccine for this population could translate to a merrier holiday season when compared to last year. While children will not be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving or Hanukkah, there is a good chance that many kids will be considered fully vaccinated by Christmas.
Remember that you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose. Because the Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose regimen with three weeks between the first and second dose, it is a five-week process to arrive at being fully vaccinated. This means that you will need your child to start the process by November 19 in order to be fully vaccinated by Christmas.
About the Pfizer Vaccine for Children
Unlike the original version of the Pfizer vaccine that has been administered in 30-microgram doses, kids will only receive 10 micrograms of the vaccine. This vaccine is also shipped in smaller packages with about 100 doses per shipment. Most healthcare providers have also said that they are using smaller needles to administer the vaccines.
Pfizer has long reported that the clinical trials of the pediatric vaccine demonstrated fewer side effects when compared to the adult trials. This should give parents confidence that the vaccine will not leave their children feeling under the weather for a long amount of time. In addition, Pfizer also said that it recorded zero cases of myocarditis in this age group.
Other Big News for Pfizer
It was a big week for Pfizer. In addition to its pediatric vaccine moving forward, the company also released impressive results surrounding the use of its experimental pill engineered to treat people suffering from COVID-19. In initial trials, the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%.
The pill works at this level if taken at home before the serious symptoms take hold of the body. According to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, the company was so happy with the promising results that they stopped the trial and are seeking to stand before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ask for an emergency use authorization (EUA) of the drug. Bourla said the company is hoping to submit this data to the FDA prior to Thanksgiving.
Known as Paxlovid, the drug is a protease inhibitor. This means that it works by stopping the virus from multiplying once an individual is infected.