According to a CNN news report, Pfizer has reported that it’s Covid-19 vaccine works well in children ages 5 to 11.
Currently, their vaccine is available to children 12 and up, and is FDA approved for use in people 16 years of age and over.
But by the end of October, there may be a vaccine available for children as young as 5 years old.
Here’s what you need to know about this news story as it continues to develop.
The Basics: A Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine For Children
First off, it’s important to understand that, while the Pfizer Covid vaccine is reported to work well for children, the dosage will be different.
Children have a slightly different immune system than adults.
And taking this into account, Pfizer tested various different dosage levels to find which would elicit the strongest immune system response.
Since children have slightly different immune systems than adults, they tend to show a strong immune response to even small doses—which is why it’s highly likely that children under 12 will be getting a 10-microgram dose of the vaccine instead of the usual 30-microgram dose.
What About Younger Children, Under 5? Is There A Vaccine Available For Them?
According to news reports, Pfizer is testing a 3-microgram dose of the vaccine that could work for children under 5 years of age.
But the results of these tests have yet to be announced.
Will These Lower Doses Keep Side Effects To A Minimum?
According to the CNN news report, doctors reportedly said that a 10-microgram dose is actually a sufficient level of vaccine for most adults as well. 18 to 55 year olds show a very good immune response from dosages of this level.
But when the vaccine was rolled out quickly last year, 30-micrograms was chosen as the dosage level because adults over 65 showed a better immune response to the stronger dose.
With that being said, there’s been some fear that children may experience worse side effects than adults.
But testing has thus far shown that, for children ages 5 to 11, the vaccine is very safe in younger children. And side effect incidence was shown to mirror what’s been seen in adults.
Vaccinating Children Is A Key Step In Controlling The Pandemic
For obvious reasons, a lot of people are nervous about the idea of children getting vaccinated.
But with more and more kids now becoming infected with newer strains of Covid, it only makes sense to prioritize a vaccine for this younger age group.
Doctors say that vaccinating children will have a significant impact on helping us to control the pandemic.
With about 30% of new cases happening in children under the age of 18, doctors are certainly concerned that there’s now a disproportionate percentage of cases where children are becoming infected.
Kids tend to experience a more mild form of Covid. But they can still get severely ill. To date, according to the CDC, 548 children have died from Covid in the US.