SAN ANTONIO — Coronavirus vaccines are available for most of the population, with the exception for the youngest children. One of the big questions many parents want to know is when will a vaccine be available for younger kids?
"We are looking at that EUA approval hopefully at the end of October. And that will help with sending our kids, you know, continuing to send them back to school," said Dr. Mandie Tibball Svatek, who is a Pediatric Hospitalist within University Health.
She says one of the reasons it has taken so long for kids age five to 11 is because both the CDC and FDA have needed more time to ensure there were no other side effects, or further side effects, with the issue of myocarditis, which was found in older children.
Dr. Svatek added, "Having those numbers to assure that we weren't giving an increased number of cases with younger children associated with this is reassuring."
Things parents need to consider before going ahead with getting their child a vaccine:
- Is this the right time for their child to receive the vaccine?
- Is their child immunocompromised?
Then, parents may want to wait. And does their child have any comorbidities to assure they are set up appropriately to receive the vaccine?
Parents also need to understand the immune system of a child is much different than an adult. Dr. Svatek said, "Their symptoms might be different, they might be less, they might be more. But we need to understand that population, and not just rely completely on what we see for the adult population."
Another factor when making the vaccine is figuring out the dosage. For children, that amount would not be the same as an adult.
Dr. Svatek told us, "They're looking currently for the younger children at different dosing and lower dosing because that vaccine in a higher dose may produce an overactive immune response, or not the appropriate immune response that they're looking for."
Dr. Svatek also says children will be able to get their other vaccines at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.
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