LUBBOCK, Texas- As COVID continues to affect people of all ages in the Hub City, local pediatricians see hope in a possible vaccine approval for children under 12.
Pfizer announced Monday that their medical trials have shown that their vaccine is effective in children ages 5 to 11. At this point, the vaccine will need to be reviewed by the FDA to receive final approval.
Tammy Camp, a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center (TTHSC), said vaccinating children is a concern for some parents.
“I have parents in my clinic every day saying when I can get a vaccine for that child,” Camp said. “I assure them that, ‘Yes, we want them to be vaccinated and we want that to happen, but it has to be done safely.”
Camp said parents have also expressed concerns about vaccinating their children.
“I think parents might be asking, ‘What are the long-term effects of having a vaccine?’ Will that affect my child’s fertility? Will there be other problems later on that we will see through this vaccine?’” said Camp.
But Camp said parents should feel confident about vaccinating their children once the vaccine is fully approved.
“I want to reassure the public that vaccines have passed the appropriate clinical trials,” Camp said, “just like any vaccine that has been used in the past.”
dr. Richard Lampe, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist and chair of pediatrics at TTHSC, said the virus has had a negative effect on some children and said he is pleased that parents have the option to have their younger children vaccinated.
“We’ve seen both Dr. Brito, my partner as I have seen [children] hospitalized with ventilators with COVID pneumonia, Lampe said.” Every child who is sick is too much, every child in the hospital is too much and every child who dies is too much.”
Lampe said children can easily transmit the virus to loved ones such as grandparents and other adults who see them as teachers every day.
dr. Eudys Brito, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at TTHSC, said that because no one knows how their child will react to the virus, it is safe to get vaccinated.
“Some of those kids may not develop symptoms, but they can transmit the infection,” Brito said. “Unfortunately we can’t distinguish that [and] the only way to prevent transmission and stop the pandemic is to vaccinate everyone.