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Young children could get a COVID-19 vaccine soon. Here's what you need to know

Ben Sessoms, The News & Observer on

Published in Parenting News

RALEIGH, N.C. — With Pfizer officially requesting emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the process has started for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized for children ages 5 to 11.

Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for emergency use only in those age 12 to 15. It received full approval from the FDA for those age 16 and up in August.

The FDA is expected to grant emergency use authorization, or EUA, for younger children in the next few weeks.

But should you have your child vaccinated? And what are the potential side effects? Here’s what you need to know.

In the Pfizer trial for young children, 2,268 children ages 5 to 11 participated. Of those, two-thirds were given two doses of the vaccine, like adults, three weeks apart. The other third received placebos.

The trial found that the vaccine “demonstrated a favorable safety profile and elicited robust neutralizing antibody responses.”

 

The Pfizer vaccine uses mRNA, a method of instructing immune cells how to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The company said the antibody response is comparable to that seen in adults.

A study from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in late August found that those unvaccinated are four times as likely to contract COVID-19 and 15 times more likely to die from the disease, The News & Observer reported.

When will it be authorized?

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