Doctor: Children may not be able to get COVID-19 vaccine until 2022

Children were not included in clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as adults. But now, vaccine makers are planning to study the safety and effectiveness in kids.

News 12 Staff

Feb 9, 2021, 4:24 AM

Updated 1,166 days ago

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For many Long Island kids, life will not fully return to normal until everyone has access to a vaccine- but that might not come this year.
Children were not included in clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as adults. But now, vaccine makers are planning to study the safety and effectiveness in kids.
One pediatrician says that means the shot should be widely available for kids by January 2022.
Some parents have already expressed skepticism about getting their kids vaccinated. But East Meadow pediatrician Dr. John Zaso says once the vaccines are deemed safe for kids, families shouldn't hesitate.
"Once it is, once we clear it, make sure there is nothing that we're not seeing, that's why we're being extra cautious with the children, it needs to be done," says Zaso. "You will then completely extinguish this pandemic."
Right now, Pfizer's vaccine is approved for emergency Use in people 16 and older. The company says it is now in phase three of clinical trials with 12-15 year olds and plans to expand those 5-11 years old.
"We want the kids to get the vaccine, this is very important. They're a big source of infection in the community," says Zaso. "They don't generally get super sick like the adults, but they are a source of spread and bad outcomes do happen to some children, so we want to eliminate all that if possible."
Doctors say the same vaccine that's going into the arms of adults right now is the same one kids will get. The further studies are to confirm the kids are making enough antibodies for the vaccine to be effective.
Zaso says some of his young patients are asking when it'll be their turn.
"Mostly teenagers, you know who understand better. You know I'm seeing 8, 9, 10 year olds asking about it, you know the younger ones really don't get it, but between that age group, they see that they need to do this, and the parents are probably more nervous than they are," says Zaso.


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