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Pfizer vaccine for kids could be on the way

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 10:23 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - According to the Louisiana Department of Health, almost 40% of new COVID cases are being found in kids between five and 11 years old, which is the exact age group Pfizer wishes to see its vaccine approved for.

“The minute the Delta variant took over, the prevalence of infections in kids increased dramatically to a rate of about 1,600 cases a day - I’m sorry - per week,” said Ochsner Regional Medical Director Dr. Aldo Russo.

Russo added regarding kids, there is no difference in the vaccine’s ingredients, only a difference in potency.

“It has a reduced concentration of the vaccine. I believe it’s probably 50% of the dose that adults get,” explained Russo.

Ochsner’s Research Department enrolled about 1,500 kids in its clinical studies on its effectiveness. Since those studies have closed, they say the results are exactly what they were hoping for.

“The results were very, very promising. They showed how kids either avoided getting the infection or if they got the infection, they were minimally affected with minimal symptoms,” continued Russo.

A Baton Rouge pediatrician was asked what she is seeing firsthand when it comes to this age group. She said although pediatric hospitalizations and deaths have increased, most of them get over the virus with no problem.

“You know, they don’t feel the greatest and might be running some fever,” said Dr. Mindy Calandro with the Baton Rouge Clinic. “A lot of kids actually have had sore throats and headaches symptoms as presentation with COVID than, let’s say, the more respiratory that our adult population has had. But for the vast majority of the children, they’ve done great.”

Calandro added so far, she has not seen any red flags but before she recommends the shot to parents for their kids, she and others need to look at the data thoroughly.

“I want to look at that data and have a really good idea of who was included in the study, how many people, and what were they looking at. I have to tease through that data before it’s going to be something that I feel confident that it’s going to be something that will be helpful to our patients,” explained Calandro.

There’s no definite answer as to when the FDA will give its approval but some doctors said they wouldn’t be surprised to hear the announcement within the next two to three weeks.

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