Upstate doctors prepare for approval of Pfizer vaccine for younger children

Local News

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)– The CDC and FDA are making moves to approve the Pfizer vaccine for even younger children. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says it’s already in the planning process to get those doses to the Upstate.

Caroline Verrignton has two young children and says the pandemic has been difficult.

“It’s been tricky we’ve had to be really careful about what we’ve been doing and really mindful of germ, already with kids and this has definitely increased our awareness of germs,” she said.

And although her children aren’t old enough to get vaccinated, she say these new developments give her hope.

“I think it’s exciting I think it will help bring normalcy back,” Verrington said.

The CDC and the FDA are working right now on approving the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11.

“The earliest that anyone in the state could start vaccinating kids 5 to 11 would be November 4th,” Assistant State Epidemiologist Dr. Jane Kelly.

DHEC says it’s waiting on that guidance from the CDC to move forward, but it is able to start ordering doses in preparation.

“We anticipate receiving up to 152,100 doses that first week to get us started,” Kelly said.

“We would recommend children getting vaccinated,” Dr. Hunter Moore, a pediatrician with Children’s Medical Center, said.

Upstate pediatricians say the vaccine did well in the 12 to 18 age group and this is the next step.

“Getting the covid vaccine for everyone makes sense to protect the most vulnerable,” Dr. Moore said.

But this dose will be a little different.

“They’ll get about a third of the dose that’s given to adults and children ages 12 to 17,” Dr. Moore said.

Once approved DHEC says 28 million children nationwide will be eligible for vaccination. Even so, doctors say it’s unlikely this will get us to reach herd immunity.

“We’re still going to have to have a lot more adults agree to be vaccinated,” Moore said.

“I think we all have to do our part. So the more people that are eligible the more people should be able to hopefully consider getting it,” Varrington said.

DHEC says with this planning process they don’t expect there to be long delays to get vaccines out to children like there were with adults in the winter. Dr. Kelly said the earliest the CDC is set to meet is November 2nd, meaning the soonest these vaccines could be used is November 4th.

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