GREEN BAY, Delete. (WBAY) – On Wednesday, Canada’s National Health Department approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15.
Health officials in the US hope the Food and Drug Administration will soon follow suit.
“I talk to them about the risks and benefits and talk to them about why it is so important not only for their child, but also for their classmates and for their families,” said Dr. Donald Beno, a pediatrician at Aurora BayCare Medical Centre.
It’s a conversation Dr. Beno said it seems timely, as the FDA is expected to expand emergency use approval of Pfizer’s COVID-10 vaccine to children 12 to 15 years old soon. It is an important next step as data shows an increase in positive cases in adolescents.
“It’s actually one of the fastest growing numbers of cases in the country in that adolescent population. It’s very concerning. I think many people have the perception that COVID is very mild in children. And it is. Mortality rates are significantly lower. I read the infectious disease physician representing the American Academy of Pediatrics and noticed something that was quite shocking. Despite the fact that COVID is not that serious in children, it is still one of the top 10 causes of death in children this year. While perhaps not as many deaths as we see in adults, it can still be significantly bad for children. It can cause not only death, but some of the long-term effects that we don’t want our children to have, ”said Dr. Ashok Rai, President and CEO of Prevea Health.
“In my own practice, I have had a very young child who will likely need a heart transplant one day,” said Dr. Beno.
For these reasons, both Dr. Beno and Dr. Rai believe that children aged 12-15 should receive the injection when it is available, as the data continues to show that it is safe and effective. In the third phase of the trial with more than 2,200 participants, 18 received COVID-19. All of those documented positive cases were in participants who got the placebo, meaning they didn’t get the vaccine.
“So all the cases of the actual disease that occurred during their study occurred in the people who didn’t get vaccines,” said Dr. Beno. “So that’s even better than the 95 to 97% that it showed benefits for the adult.”
In addition, it aids in the goal of herd immunity, as Wisconsin has about 300,000 children, ages 12-15.
“It really has to be 80% of people in all areas and all ages after that,” said Dr. Beno.
If you have any questions about the vaccine, get your information from experts.
“We should all remember that when we research things online, anyone can post anything on the Internet. We always want to go to the experts, ”said Dr. Beno.
Dr. Beno said the experts are happy to talk about the vaccine, especially about correcting misinformation.
“I had a lot of questions about future fertility. I don’t know why those questions are becoming more common, but there is no effect on fertility or future fertility, it does not change our DNA, ”said Dr. Beno.
The state said it is willing to vaccinate children ages 12-15 when they are approved, but there is one thing to keep in mind.
“I’ll be honest when it comes to kids, you may have to drive a little further to get a vaccine because some may not be able to handle the intricacies of the Pfizer vaccine, but we’ll do what we can help them, ”said Julie Willems van Dijk, deputy secretary of DHS. “I suspect we will never have them in 100 locations, but our system is suitable for expansion to other locations.”
To find a location near you where the Pfizer vaccine is available, visit vaccinefinder.org.
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