The New Normal: When will children be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined this morning by Dr. Sharon Nachman to talk about COVID-19 vaccines and children.
The Food Drug and Administration could soon authorize the emergency use of Pfizer's vaccine for children as young as 12. Pfizer filed its formal request for vaccine use authorization in 12- to 15-year-olds a few weeks ago. Approval is expected any day now.
When it happens, that means middle school students and all high school students would be eligible to get the shot before the start of the next school year.
Approval of Moderna's vaccine for the same age group could follow two to three weeks afterward.
What's the holdup?
There's about 17 million children between the age of 12 and 15. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted that 10 million children would be vaccinated against the coronavirus before fall, if the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use on younger teens.
While vaccine sites and pharmacies will likely begin to offer vaccines to children, pediatricians will be key to getting the age group vaccinated.
The size of the batches alone is an issue for small clinics in small communities.
For so many people the term "herd immunity" came to signify the endgame - the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the virus and reclaim our lives.
Whether through natural infection or vaccination, the virus would run out of people to infect. Polls show that about 30% of the U.S. population is still reluctant to be vaccinated. That number is expected to improve, but probably not enough.
How do you navigate life as parents who are vaccinated and children who aren't?
Students at Stony Brook University are taking part in a nationwide study to see how effective the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is against spreading the virus. The school hopes to enroll 400 students in total. Half will receive the vaccine upon enrollment, and the other half will get the shot four months later.
The delayed vaccinations are needed to monitor how effective the Moderna vaccine is in preventing infection and transmission to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Participating students must swab their noses daily for testing, and provide blood samples. To register for the study, you do not have to be a Stony Brook student. College students from ages 18 to 26 can sign up for the study here - email@example.com