COVID-19: Is the Vaccine Safe For Children Under 12 Years Of Age?

Pfizer Announced the Effectiveness Of Its Vaccine In Children Under 12 Years Of Age.

Woman injecting a child

Several studies have been carried out by laboratories to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine in increasingly young people. Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: COVID-19: ¿Qué implicaciones tendría el uso de la vacuna en menores de 12 años?

Last Monday, September 20, the Pfizer laboratory announced through a press release that its biological against COVID-19 is safe for use in children under 12 years of age, specifically in people who are between 5 and 11 years old. This was announced after successfully carrying out the second phase to distribute the biological to people of these ages. According to the statement, Pfizer gave the children much lower doses and there was a 21-day window between the two required doses. Likewise, the statement ensures that the vaccine is 100% effective in subjects of these ages, because the antibodies generated are "robust."

Is it safe for children to be vaccinated?

Until a while ago vaccines were only being administered to people over 16 years of age, but as time has passed, various studies have been carried out by laboratories to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine in increasingly younger people. In August of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending that people ages 12 to 16 also be vaccinated. This came hand in hand with the full approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the FDA for vaccination in people 12 years of age and older.

So far, the main international health organizations have approved the vaccine in children 12 years of age and older. In addition, Pfizer has earned a position of trust by being among the highest ranges of effectiveness and being the first biological against COVID-19 that is fully approved by a regulatory body, such as the FDA. So far, the approvals that have been given to the rest of the COVID-19 vaccines from other laboratories are for emergency use.

This new announcement by Pfizer raises the question of whether vaccination in children under 12 is safe. So far the laboratory has assured that it is, but we must be attentive to see the results of the third and last phase of tests, which will be the final one so that people between 5 and 11 years old begin to be vaccinated against COVID-19 around of the world, at least with this biological.

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The test with a lower dose demonstrated not only safety, but also similar and minor side effects to those seen in adolescents. Health organizations have urged that children who cannot yet be vaccinated must carefully maintain biosecurity measures, since, like adults, they can become infected, suffer from the coronavirus disease and infect other people. So the fact that a laboratory tests its effectiveness in minors between 5 and 11 years old is good news since it gets us closer and closer to herd immunity.

Are we closer to getting back to normal?

The possibility that the little ones can be vaccinated is very promising, since one of the issues that has generated the most problems around the pandemic is the return to school. In places like Florida, United States, there has been talk of not asking for the use of the mask in children who are returning to face-to-face classes, since according to some people, this goes against freedom of expression. This can be extremely dangerous, both for children and for families and the academic body, since the chances of contagion increase exponentially.

The fact that the vaccine begins to be administered in increasingly younger people can help to maintain a safer environment in these types of spaces. For its part, Pfizer also announced that it is seeking FDA approval for use for less than 5 to 11 years. This could also build more confidence in parents who are unsure about vaccinating their sons and daughters.

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