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An advisory committee formally recommended that the Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for kids ages 5 years old to 11.
Dr. Andrew Jameson, medical director of infection prevention and control at Mercy Health St. Mary’s, said if all goes well while the vaccine continues to be under review, kids could be getting the vaccine next week.
“That distribution is given out at a state level. So, we had to apply and order those vaccines. We actually did that a couple of weeks ago,” said Dr. Jameson, who’s also the division chief of infectious diseases. “So, we knew what the dose was going to be for kids. We knew it was going to be the smaller dose. They’re packaged a little bit different. They have different caps. They can actually be stored a lot longer.”
And, as soon as the vaccine gets the green light, then they’ll begin giving them to kids. Dr. Jameson said he encourages parents to talk to their doctors and pediatricians about how to get them.
“We’re probably not going to be setting up any big clinics and that’s because what we’ve done is increase capacity in our pharmacies and our outpatient offices,” Dr. Jameson said. “So, almost all of the internal medicine and primary care offices and family medicine offices at Mercy Health are vaccinated for COVID already.”
Dr. Jameson said he understands that some parents may be hesitant about getting their kids vaccinated. One of the biggest concerns they’ve been hearing about is myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart. It can cause chest pain and difficulty breathing.
He said myocarditis can come from the vaccine. However, it can stem from COVID as well.
“There have been no cases of death related to myocarditis from the vaccine. And, the incidents of myocarditis from real COVID is tenfold to more than what the vaccine incidents is,” Dr. Jameson said. “So, I think I would just encourage parents when they’re worried to go and get the real data. Look at what the actual numbers are. It’s somewhere between six and 10 per 100,000 cases of this. It’s a big deal and you have to think about it. But, when there’s so much Delta in our community and there’s so much disease going around, the risk benefit is very, very clear. It is much more beneficial to get your kids vaccinated.”