Vermont docs hopeful after Pfizer asks to authorize shots for ages 5 to 11

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(WFFF) — It will be at least a few more weeks until the FDA decides whether to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for the country’s youngest age band, but some Vermont parents, children, and pediatricians are hopeful.

Dr. William Raszka is the Director of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Service at Vermont Children’s Hospital. He says the nation is taking another important step in the fight against COVID. “Not quite two years ago, we were just describing this virus,” he said. “We now have the opportunity or we may have the opportunity to immunize children 5 to 11.”

Raszka says he is eager to see efforts made to include young children in the race to get vaccinated.  While a lot has happened in 18 months, he emphasizes no shortcuts were taken. “The vaccine product has demonstrated to be safe. Hundreds of millions of doses in people of different ages,” he said. “I strongly encourage them to get vaccinated.”

According to the Vermont Department of Health, of the 34,923 COVID cases, those under 20 have made up more than 20%.

One 9-year-old from South Burlington believes the vaccine “really works.” Noah Hollander is a fourth grader at Rick Marcotte Central School. He says a vaccine would make all the difference for him and his classmates. “You come to school not just for academics, but also for social, like hanging out with your friends,” he said Hollander. “It’s really hard with COVID.”

Noah’s mother, pediatrician Shannon Hogan, says vaccination is the best way to prevent transmission and get back to normal. “They’ve done longer studies in this population,” she said. “I trust in the science and I believe that it will be safe.”

If the FDA extends EUA to children 5 to 11, some Vermonters won’t hesitate to get in line. “It will be a really good thing for people my age,” said Hollander.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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