Parent Survival Guide: When kids can get the COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Dec. 21, 2020 at 1:03 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Associated Press says the Pfizer vaccine approved this month is for people older than 15, but vaccine testing for children as young as 12 is expected to take several more months.

Sweetgrass Pediatrics Pediatrician Doctor Tory Caudle says that it is promising news to know that children are now being included in this study and hopefully in the near future many of her patients could likely be vaccinated against the virus.

”I think it’s important for kids to be included because we don’t want them to have a long delay to get a vaccine that can greatly improve their life even if they are not getting severe illness,” Caudle said. She says the Coronavirus can cause a range of symptoms for kids, from none at all to severe respiratory issues and in some cases death.

Caudle says there’s no certainty that the results of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination studies on children will get the green light in time for the beginning of the next school year.

”Hopefully by the spring summer we will be in the phase with the general population and if you’re not in any of the previous phases you can get it so hopefully we will have some good data by then,” Caudle said. She says as far as safety goes, she herself just recently got the vaccine and feels optimistic about its effects in her patients.

”I feel very comfortable with it and when we see data showing its safe for kids then we will promote that as well,” Caudle said.

A few parents have called to ask questions about the COVID-19 vaccine but Caudle says most of them are positive. She says once the vaccine is approved for kids younger than 16 she will urge parents to get their children vaccinated.

”I think it will benefit them and their families and schoolmates,” Caudle said. “With many vaccines even healthy kids that may not have severe illness we want as many people as possible to get it so we can have that heard immunity for those vulnerable people in the population.”

While the Pfizer vaccine has been doing testing in kids ages 12 and up since the October, the Associated Press says the Moderna vaccine recently began enrolling study participants ages 12 to 17.

The AP says Moderna will track these children for a year and testing for children younger than 12 is expected to start in early 2021.

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