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Pfizer-Biontech Seeks Vaccine Approval For Younger Kids

Pfizer, along with partner Biontech, have officially submitted a request to the FDA for emergency use authorization of their Covid-19 vaccine in children ages five to 11.

Posted: Oct 8, 2021 4:53 PM

LAFAYETTE, La. - Pfizer, along with partner Biontech, have officially submitted a request to the FDA for emergency use authorization of their Covid-19 vaccine in children ages five to 11.
One parent, Liz Andrews, does not plan to let her kids get the vaccine, "I'm totally against it. Totally against it." Another parent, Natalie Lemelle, felt differently, "I have concerns with just about everything, but in this case my pros far outweigh my cons."

Other parents around the nation and Acadiana are also preparing to make the decision on whether or not they'll vaccinate their children against the virus. Clinical trials for children as young as five are currently underway. Lemelle is mom to 11-year-old twins and said they'll get the shot when it is available, "They were born prematurely and on oxygen and several other things and I told myself that as a mother if there was anything that I could do for them to not have that helpless feeling again, I would do it."

Photo courtesy of Pfizer/ MGN

Dr. Adrienne Musumeche, a Pediatrician at Premiere Pediatrics of Acadiana, said their practice only saw a handful of pediatric when Covid-19 first hit Louisiana. She added that the Delta variant changed things up a bit, "We started seeing an uptick in Covid again with the Delta variant in July then certainly by end of July/August. I mean that's when the numbers were surging."

As of October 6, 2021, the Louisiana Department of Health reported nine pediatric deaths during the Delta variant surge. Dr. Adrienne said most of the cases she's diagnosed in younger kids are similar to a head cold, "It seemed like our older infants and toddlers and kind of those young school agers, it's kind of just still a head cold. I mean they're running around the room. They seem fine. They have a runny nose. It's our older kids. Our pre-teens and the high schoolers, they look like they have the flu. They all pretty much have a bad headache, fevers and body aches." She said that she hopes that once the vaccine becomes available for children as young as five years old, more parents will be open to vaccinating their kids for the virus especially with school restrictions that are in place, "It's very frustrating as a parent, I know. I get it, particularly these elementary school kids who can't get vaccinated. At least with our middle-schoolers and high-schoolers if you're vaccinated there's less chance of you catching and really if you're exposed you can still go to school as long as you're asymptomatic."

Younger kids would receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine 21 days apart, but each dose would only be a third of the adult dose. Breana and Ryan Batton allowed their 6-year-old son, Thomas, to participate in the Moderna KidCOVE trial at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, "What we're seeing now with pediatrics and how sick they're getting even with the risks it's still safer to vaccinate than it is to catch Covid," said Ryan. There is a 75 percent chance that Thomas received the Moderna vaccine and a 25 percent possibility that he got the placebo. They said he did have symptoms after his second dose, "He had a fever of like 100 maybe for like a night. He had chills that you have when you have a fever. He was kind of achy, but just for a night. The next day he was fine." The study won't be unblinded until the Moderna vaccine is FDA approved for young kids.

Dr. Adrienne is encouraging parents to talk to your kids' pediatricians for factual information if you have concerns about vaccines. "When folks say things like you know, oh well they're still getting infections or what have you. It just puts these seeds of doubt in all of the community and once that happens it is very hard to unhear that." Dr. Adrienne said all of the older kids that have been vaccinated at the practice have done well with the vaccine so far.

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