BOSTON (WPRI) — All Americans 16 years and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, so some of the focus is starting to shift toward getting children vaccinated.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are testing their vaccines in children. Earlier this month, Pfizer asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval of its vaccine in children ages 12 to 15.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, vaccines may soon be available for children even younger.
“I think by the time we get to the first quarter of 2022 we’ll be able to vaccinate children of virtually any age,” Fauci said on CNN’s Face the Nation over the weekend.
Parents are now considering whether or not their children should get the shot.
“I’m definitely pro vaccinating the kids. I will do it,” Yuval Feinstein, of Boston, said.
“It was just invented yesterday so we would very much like to see the science behind,” Aaron Friar, of Brighton, said.
According to Rick Malley, MD, an infectious disease doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital, giving the shot to kids will help achieve some level of herd immunity.
“It’s certainly going to require immunizing more people than just the adult population,” Malley explained. “Kids, as young as even 12 years of age, will hopefully be able to be vaccinated by the summer.”
While studies show the virus is less risky for children, Dr. Christina Hermos, an infectious disease specialist at UMass Memorial, says vaccinating children could help prevent serious cases.
“We’ve seen a lot of this post COVID-inflammatory complication called MISC which luckily has very low mortality, but it can be quite severe and does require hospitalization,” Hermos said.
It’s unclear how quickly the FDA could act on allowing Pfizer’s vaccine to be given to younger children.
Meanwhile, Moderna is conducting a similar clinical trial on its vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15.