New York docs ‘very excited’ about Pfizer vaccines for 5-year-olds on up

COVID-19

BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works for children as young as 5-years-old. It’s now waiting on FDA approval for emergency use.

“Pfizer is saying that they expect an FDA approval in weeks, not months,” said Dr. Kathleen Grisanti, the president and medical director of Pediatric and Adolescent Urgent Care of WNY. “We’re really hoping, as we move forward in the next month or two, that we’ll be able to start vaccinating these school-aged children.”

“We want to get as many people as possible vaccinated because the more people that are vaccinated in the community, the quicker we can return to normal,” said Stephen Turkovich, who’s the chief medical officer at Oishei Children’s Hospital. “By making the 5 to 11 year-olds within the nation eligible, we will increase the number of eligible people by 28 million.”

People in the community say they’re on board with children in that age group getting vaccinated. “This will help with the curve. I think the numbers are going to go down,” said Tyshawn Thomas. “I’m 100% pro-vaccine, because if you go with science, science is not wrong. So I’m all for it. I think it’s a good idea. It’s about time.”

“I have a cousin who’s in that age group, and I think she’s been wanting to get the vaccine because she’s been very anxious about the whole thing. And with kids being out of school, I think it’s increased their anxiety,” Caroline Terhaar said. “Getting vaccinated would just help them get back into their normal routine.”

Because the vaccine would be for a younger age group, the vaccine dose is lower than what’s used for people older than 11-years-old, but experts say it’s just as effective. “They found that the antibody levels that the vaccine produced were equivalent or even a little bit higher than what we’ve seen in the adults and older children that got the vaccine,” Turkovich said.

Local pediatricians also stress parents go to the experts with their vaccine concerns. “There’s always concern with anything new—and again, we just kind of reassure them that this is not a new technology, that we have been using this type of technology in all sorts of vaccines,” Grisanti said. “We just encourage them to talk to their pediatricians to find out their recommendations and vaccinate their children as soon as it becomes available to them.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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