BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is one step away from being available to millions of children, and a Birmingham doctor says if it gets approved, she will recommend that parents have their kids vaccinated.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s shot for emergency use for children ages 12-15. On Wednesday, an advisory committee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet to vote on approving the authorization, according to CBS News. It would open the door for around 17 million children and teens to be vaccinated.
Dr. Celeste Reese-Willis, CBS 42’s resident doctor, said vaccinating children in this age group would go a long way toward preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re talking about another group of individuals wherein the likelihood that COVID will circulate in that age group will be diminished an enormous amount just by those children being vaccinated versus leaving an environment for COVID to host on per se to continue the spread,” Reese-Willis said.
Reese-Willis said Pfizer began testing its vaccine on children 12-15 last year and recently presented evidence about its efficacy and safety to the FDA. She said Pfizer paid close attention to the children in the months following their shots to learn more about potential side effects. If the CED approves the vaccine tomorrow, Reese-Willis will advise parents to have their children vaccinated.
“I absolutely would recommend that parents allow their child to get the COVID-19 vaccination from Pfizer primarily because it’s going to help to decrease the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “It’s shown to be effective. The side effect profile is so extremely small, especially with the Pfizer vaccine.”
But she’ll also recommend that parents discuss the vaccine process and possible side effects with their children before taking them to get vaccinated.
“You want to make sure any anxiety they have, any questions they have, any apprehensions – all that is answered prior to them getting there to get the vaccine,” she said.