Pretty soon there could be more Coronavirus vaccines available for young children.
The Pfizer version of the vaccine is already available for kids as young as 12, and a few weeks ago the pharmaceutical company Moderna applied for emergency use authorization for its vaccine in kids as young as 12 as well.
“It’s yet another option to make vaccines more accessible for the younger population,” said Dr. Christina Johns, the senior medical advisor at PM Pediatrics, which is the nation's largest pediatric urgent care provider. “It gets us closer to the goal of ending this pandemic.”
But just last week a panel of experts from the CDC announced that there is a likely association between those two vaccines, and rare cases of heart inflammation called myocarditis. An FDA committee recommended that a warning label be added to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Dr. Johns says heart trouble from getting Covid-19, is actually a much greater risk.
“At this point, what this committee has concluded is that the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh any potential rare risk,” she said. “And I think that's really important to lean into the science on that.”
There are concerns about the new, so-called “Delta” variant of the original Coronavirus. And there’s been a recent uptick in the number of young people being diagnosed.
“They are the vulnerable population right now,” Dr. Johns said. “They are the larger percentage of people who are testing positive because they are the ones who either aren’t eligible for the vaccine or who haven’t got the vaccine.”
She said she does not expect coronavirus vaccines to approved for kids younger than 12, in time for the start of school, but that approval could come later in the Fall.
We've got that full interview on the WMAR-2 news YouTube page.