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Some parents, pediatricians celebrate progress of COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11

MIAMI – Robyn McCarthy and John McCarthy are eagerly awaiting the federal government’s approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.

Without it, everything feels riskier for their 6-year-old son Liam, who lives with asthma, a condition that increased his likelihood of requiring hospitalization for COVID-19.

The Delta variant was increasing pediatric hospitalizations just as Liam’s parents filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis for not allowing school districts to mandate face masks.

“I think most parents will feel a little bit of relief ... at least, it will let kids be kids again and almost let us return to a somewhat sense of normalcy,” Liam’s mother said after Pfizer announced its vaccine is effective for children ages 5 to 11.

An ongoing study involving 2,268 children shows the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine showed they developed antibody protective levels just as strong as teens and young adults, the company announced on Monday morning.

“We are pleased to be able to submit data to regulatory authorities for this group of school-aged children before the start of the winter season,” said Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech.

Dr. Chad Perlyn, president of Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists, said it’s an exciting day in the fight against COVID-19 since this now provides a new level of protection.

“While there is certainly side effects, those side effects in the vast majority of cases are incredibly mild as compared to what could occur from a COVID infection,” Perlyn said.

The study is being done in compliance with a request by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as part of the authorization process. The children received a third of the dose adults get.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.