SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In an effort to get more shots into arms, younger children may soon be able to get in line for their vaccine.
According to the New York Times and CNN, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to give the green light for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to be used for kids and teens ages 12 to 15 by early next week.
Dr. Stephen Thomas, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Upstate University Hospital, believes if the FDA continues to be on the vaccine rollout timeline it has been throughout the pandemic, he wouldn’t be surprised if a decision is made by next week.
“It would be great if it were this week, but I think the data paints a very clear picture. It’s just a matter of what the FDA’s interpretation is,” Dr. Stephen Thomas said.
Pfizer has already applied for ’emergency use authorization’ for its vaccine to be given to children and teens ages 12 to 15. The FDA will have to amend the emergency use authorization.
Pfizer reports its clinical trials showed the vaccine was 100% effective for this age group.
Dr. Thomas says he doesn’t believe kids and teens will have to take any extra precautions when they get the vaccine. Each person will still be treated on a case-by-case basis because of different underlying health conditions.
However, he does say when this decision is made, it’ll be a game changer for everyone.
We are picking up another group of school kids K-12 who will have access to vaccines and the protection that goes along with that. I think it’s really good news for in-person learning and prospects for sustained in-person learning next year.
It’s three grades and in some instances, depending on how each district is organized, it can be a whole school. If you could have high school, a junior high school and a middle school vaccinated, that’s a really big deal.Dr. Stephen Thomas, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Upstate University Hospital
The data submitted by Pfizer is currently being reviewed by the FDA to support the extended use.
Dr. Thomas says other key elements experts are digging into is how long is the vaccine effective for and expanding use in even younger children.