Representatives from the University of Iowa Health Care System say the FDA Advisory Committee’s vote Tuesday to approve use of the COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5-11 is a crucial milestone in the country’s fight against the pandemic.
Children younger than 12 are not yet permitted to receive the vaccine, but this could change within a few days as the FDA is expected to approve this use of the shot soon. After the FDA’s director officially authorizes emergency use of the vaccine for these younger children, the decision still requires approval from the Center for Disease Control before Quad City health-care providers can begin the vaccine rollout process.
“It’s better to do prevention than treatment,” said Rami Boutros, director of pediatrics for the University of Iowa Health Care System.
Health-care professionals say the vaccine has proven to be safe for this new age group of children, and says the dose to be administered to those ages 5-11 will be about a third of the size of that given to adults.
“When we look at the side-effect profile of the vaccine, we were able to see a very strong immune response with the lower dose, but less side effects,” said Mike Brownlee, chief pharmacy officer with the University of Iowa Health Care System.
As the community awaits the official green light from the FDA and CDC — local medical experts encourage the community to stay informed and do their research — saying the vaccine is a safe way to not only protect one’s child, but also to help protect the entire community by helping the fight against the pandemic.
“The risk from the vaccine is very small in comparison to what we see with the disease,” Boutros said.