SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A potential new breakthrough in the battle against the pandemic — Pfizer says their vaccine is safe and 100 percent effective for kids as young as 12.
An infectious disease expert says if all goes well, that means tweens and more teens could be lining up to get their shots before school starts in the fall.
Pfizer says none of the 12 to 15-year-olds who got the shots in their clinical study contracted the virus and the kid’s side effects to the two doses were similar to those felt by young adults.
UC Berkeley infectious disease expert Dr. John Swartzberg says while this is a small study and it hasn’t yet been vetted by other scientists.
If the data holds up it could mean adolescents from 12 to 15 could join the rest of 16 plus crowd already okayed to get the shots before school starts in the fall.
Getting more of the population inoculated against the virus helps us in the battle against the pandemic because everyone that’s susceptible to the virus is a potential variant factory.
“We’re not only protecting those children, we’re protecting society as a whole from transmission of the virus to people who are more susceptible to it and the consequences of it, we’re also protecting society from variant factories, that is the development of new variance that could really throw a monkey wrench into our plans of getting back to normal,” Dr. Swartzberg said.
One Santa Clara parent is thrilled by the news.
“I’m a teacher so I’m already been vaccinated and my coworkers and I are so relieved to have that it’s just such a sense of comfort and so sending my kids off to school knowing that they’ve been vaccinated would just be a great feeling,” the parent said.
Another San Francisco mom of a soon-to-be 12-year-old who plans to get vaccinated herself says she is going to need more data before her son does.
“I’m not doubting the efficacy of this vaccine I’m doubting the long-term effects that we don’t know and there’s no way of knowing until the long term gets here,” the San Francisco mom said.
The drugmaker says they plan to get their study in front of the FDA as soon as possible.
It’s not clear how quickly the FDA will move on approving Pfizer’s request for emergency authorization — It’s taken three to four weeks to greenlight vaccines for adults.