On Nov. 2, the CDC panel approved the Pfizer vaccine for children who are 5 to 11 years old.
It has now been 22 months since the first reported COVID-19 case. In that time, people have lost moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends.
Since then, three companies in the United States have released vaccines to stop the severity of the spread. Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have all produced vaccines for people 16 years and older who want to get vaccinated. Soon after, 12-to-16-year-olds could receive the vaccine, but there are still elementary schools full of kids who cannot be vaccinated.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted on whether these vaccines are safe for kids 5 to 11 years old.
News sources such as CNN, CBS and NPR stated that there was a 17 to 0 vote for the vaccine with one undecided member. None of the advisors on the FDA panel voted no on Pfizer moving forward vaccinating children 5 to 11 years old. This was for emergency use. Originally the Pfizer vaccine for adults was also under emergency use, but then was fully approved.
According to a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providers can now start offering the vaccine to children 5 to 11 years old.
“I was already fully on board once they were approved for emergency usage. However, once Pfizer was overwhelmingly fully FDA approved, I felt even more assured in my decision,” adjunct professor, alumna and mother of three Krista Frohling said.
COVID-19 has been the most spread pandemic in over 100 years. In the U.S., over 747,000 people have died and more die every day. Washington D.C. had 692,000 residents as of 2019.
“My children’s health and safety has been at the forefront during this pandemic. Vaccinating them seems like a no-brainer approach to keep them healthy,” Frohling said. “All three of my children are in school now. Their school has no mask mandate, and as a result, my children are some of the only kids in their classrooms who wear a mask. This means they have no protection while at school.”
Many schools across the country share this “maskless” approach to elementary learning.
“Honestly, I’ll give them whatever vaccine is available first. I’m anxious to have them protected with whichever Fauci-ouchie is approved and ready,” Frohling said.
A Harris Poll, however, showed about a quarter of parents are unwilling to get their kids vaccinated.
Webster freshman Justice Nickens is a substitute teacher at Pevely Elementary School and Senn Thomas Middle School.
“I’d tell them to talk to their pediatrician and unless they have a reason as to why their child shouldn’t get the vaccine there is really no excuse not to,” Nickens said.
As Nickens said, for those who are wondering if the vaccine is safe, talk to a pediatrician.
Dr. Jason Newland is a pediatric infectious disease physician through Washington University in St. Louis. Newland said the vaccine is safe, but added there is a very minor chance of heart inflammation.
“The risk of that happening is highest in young males which is 10 per 100,000 and could be as low as 60 per million so young men in their older teens and young adults,” Newland said.Newland also mentioned that there have been more than 550 children in the U.S. who have died due to COVID-19 during this pandemic.
In the end, Newland reiterated that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The vaccine is safe enough that on Nov. 2, the CDC panel approved the Pfizer vaccine.