This week, both the FDA and CDC approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-15. The Will County Health Department will start vaccinating that age group today, while DuPage County will start Monday.
“Children are low-risk, but yes that risk does exist. And we just have to think about a vaccine that’s already been looked at now in hundreds of millions of people and deemed safe,” said Dr. Jonathan Pinsky, Edward Hospital’s medical director of infection control.
The Pfizer trial had 100% efficacy for all 1,000 12-15 year olds receiving the vaccine. Subjects were given the same dose an adult would receive and there were no reported cases where hormones were affected.
Pinsky compared it to another demographic affected by hormone changes: pregnant women.
“That vaccine has been given to over 50,000 pregnant women with no adverse effects on the pregnancy, so there doesn’t seem to be any issue as far as hormones or anything like that that we’ve heard about,” said Pinsky.
In the clinical trial, 12-15 year olds saw a slightly higher incidence of fever after the second dose, just below 20%. That’s compared to the roughly 15% seen in 18-55 year olds.
But Pinsky said that’s nothing to fear, just the immune system’s response, and concerns about side effects shouldn’t dissuade most people from opting for the vaccine.
“A Fork In the Road”
“We’re at a fork in the road,” he said. “Either we all get vaccinated and we have a bright future and we can get back to normal, or we have partial vaccinations, not everybody gets vaccinations, there’s more infections, more deaths and we don’t get back to normal. Those are the choices.”
Other COVID-19 vaccines are being studied for use in younger populations and could be approved in the coming months.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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