LUBBOCK, Texas- As COVID continues to affect people of all ages in the Hub City, local pediatricians see hope in a possible vaccine approval for kids under 12.
Pfizer announced on Monday that their medical trials have shown their vaccine is effective in children ages 5 to 11. Right now, the vaccine will have to be reviewed by the FDA to get final approval.
Tammy Camp, pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center (TTHSC), said getting children vaccinated has been a concern for some parents.
“I have parents in my clinic every day that say when am I going to be able to have a vaccine able for that child,” said Camp. “I reassure them that, ‘Yes, we want them to get vaccinated and want that to occur but it needs to occur safely.”
Camp said parents have also expressed their concerns about vaccinating their children.
“I think parents are potentially wondering, ‘What are the long term effects of having a vaccine? Will that affect my child’s fertility? Will there be other problems later on we see from this vaccine?'” said Camp.
However Camp said parents should feel confident in vaccinating their children once the vaccine is fully approved.
“I want to reassure the public that vaccines have gone through the appropriate clinical trials,” said Camp, “–just like any vaccine that has been used in the past.”
Dr. Richard Lampe, pediatrician and infectious disease specialist and chair of pediatrics at TTHSC, said the virus has had a negative effect on some children and said he’s glad parents have the option to get their younger children vaccinated.
“We’ve seen, both Dr. Brito, my partner and I have seen [children] hospitalized on ventilators with COVID pneumonia, said Lampe.” Any children who are sick is too much, any child in the hospital is too much and any child who dies is too much.”
Lampe said children can easily transmit the virus to loved ones such as grandparents and other adults they see every day like teachers.
Dr. Eudys Brito, pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at TTHSC, said since no one knows how their child will react to the virus, it’s safe to get vaccinated.
“Some of those kids might not develop symptoms but they can transmit the infection,” said Brito. “Unfortunately, we can not distinguish that [and] the only way to prevent the transmission and stop the pandemic is vaccinating everyone.