With the recent approval of a children’s COVID vaccination, less than half of American parents intend to vaccinate, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But, experts at Pfizer and in the AAP, FDA, and CDC, say vaccination are the right move for most children and parents.
“I’m a mother of four. I understand the concern,” said Sharon Polleck, Research Scientist for Pfizer. “You want to give your children the best things in life, a strong immunity is truly priceless.”
Many individuals surveyed by the AAP still believed that children either do not get COVID-19 or do not get seriously ill at a significant rate. These beliefs have left many parents wondering why a vaccination for their children between the ages of five and eleven is even necessary.
Thirty-nine percent of all COVID cases in individuals under the age of 18 are among children between the ages of five and eleven, the group for which the Pfizer vaccine was recently approved, according to the FDA.
Over 8,000 of these cases result in hospitalization, and almost 150 deaths have been reported among this age group, the FDA added. There are over 28 million children in this age group.
“The vaccine for children not only benefits them, but is also another tool to help curtail the spread of Covid-19 to others,” said Phillip Boyle, Research Scientist at Pfizer Biopharmaceutical company in Andover, Massachusetts.
With COVID cases steadily on the rise in Massachusetts, according to data provided by the state, Mr. Boyle has hope that this latest development is another step towards seeing these numbers on the decline.
Mr. Boyle is not, it seems, alone in his optimism.
“Sharing this life saving vaccination with our children is a huge step forward and provides us all with more confidence and optimism about the future,” said Lee Savio Beers, M.D. FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in a press release on Tuesday after the AAP officially recommended vaccination for all eligible children.
Some hesitant parents, however, are concerned about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine for their children. Assurance of this comes for many in the form of statements from the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America, who passed the vaccine for pediatricians to begin to administer to children between the ages of five and eleven on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021.
“The FDA is committed to making decisions that are guided by science that the public and healthcare community can trust. We are confident in the safety, effectiveness and manufacturing data behind this authorization,” said the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Peter Marks, in a press release.
The input of an independent advisory committee of experts who unanimously supported the decision to make the Pfizer vaccine available to children also played an instrumental role in their consideration, according to the FDA.
The Center for Disease Control was also quick to offer up assurance, claiming, in a statement, that the vaccinations against COVID-19 are facing “the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.”If interested, concerned parents can also visit the FDA’s website, where they can view the documents used to support the final decision, posted in an effort at transparency.