After months of testing, Pfizer on Monday announced that their Covid-19 vaccine is effective to younger children aged 5-11 and they will soon seek authorization for soon.
This has been a great news for MUSC and parents in South Carolina as they think this will be an important step forward in battling the virus.
They said getting this age group vaccinated means kids can stay in school more safely and will keep out of the hospital for the virus.
Sarah Lesemann is a Mount Pleasant mom of one.
“I have a four-year-old daughter,” she said. “Her name is Audrey.”
According to her, Pfizer announcement is a great thing to hear and she expects this group to be allowed to get the shot by the end of October.
Lesemann added that she will immediately vaccinate her daughter as soon as the vaccine if approved.
“We wish it was 4 [years old] because our daughter doesn’t turn 5 until December so we’ll have to wait a little bit longer, but we’re looking forward to it,” she said.
Other doctors at the MUSC are also happy to hear the big news.
“[There are] a lot of really positive implications for not only the safety of our children with COVID but also an expanded ability to keep them in school,” Dr. Allison Eckard, a pediatric infectious disease physician at MUSC, said.
According to the latest data, the number of hospitalized children since the start of the Delta wave has been growing setting record high number in the past two and a half months. All the hospitalized children so far at the MUSCH have been unvaccinated.
“Those severe covid cases, admissions, intubations, could have been prevented,” she said. “I’m just really relieved we’re taking this next step forward to hopefully protect more and more of our children.”
In an effort to vaccinate as many children as possible, Eckard said it will be great if the school districts allow vaccination sites directly at the schools. That way, more children will be able to get the shot in a shorter period of time.
“I will reach out to them today to start planning this for whenever the [emergency use authorization] is finally approved,” she said. “It’s a really important, exciting step forward.”
Vaccinating the children will not only improve their safety, but it will also improve the general safety in South Carolina.
“I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief,” Lesemann said.
According to Dr. Eckard, the dose is smaller for this new age group. It’s a third of the dose of what adults get. She said she anticipates the roll out of the vaccine for this age group to be smooth once it’s officially approved.