COVID vaccines for kids under 5 may soon be available

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 11:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Children under the age of five may soon be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to the Biden Administration, that date could be as early as June 21. Pfizer is pushing for the FDA to authorize its vaccines for kids ages six months to four years.

We spoke with doctors over at AU Health about what parents need to know.

As we head out of the Memorial Day weekend, many were out enjoying the outdoors rather than spending it in a hospital bed.

“Not really much going on at the hospital level,” said Rodger MacArthur, AU health infectious disease expert.

A different story from the early days of the pandemic. A lot has changed since then, and one more thing might change. Parents could soon get their kids under five vaccinated.

“I think there are amongst various experts, mixed feelings about going down with the current vaccine to the very, very young,” he said.

One reason for those ‘mixed feelings’---

Over a million people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19. Only about 1,000 of those were kids under age 18, according to the CDC.

“If young kids are severely immunocompromised, if they have conditions, then you may want to give them extra protection,” said MacArthur.

Though there’s one other thing on his radar. A study by the CDC found contracting the virus was linked to an increased risk of diabetes in kids.

“If the vaccine can be shown to prevent that or reduce that risk, I think that’s a really important thing to know. Unfortunately, we don’t have that information right now,” he said.

The FDA still needs to weigh in on whether those young kids can get the shot.

As for the people of age to get the shot, he says they’re still seeing people getting their first initial doses. He also says it could be likely we would have new formulations of the vaccine by the fall.

“Folks are getting kind of tired about changing recommendations about vaccines. News that it works... doesn’t work. It’s great at preventing this, but not that. So, I hope the FDA gets it right,” said MacArthur.

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