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RVA Parenting: The latest COVID-19 vaccine updates for kids under 12

A new study casts doubt on the effectiveness of a pfizer vaccine for kids 5-11 Just as this age group nears the five month window- where a booster has been reco
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 7:34 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A new study casts doubt on the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine for kids 5-11. Just as this age group nears the five-month window where a booster is typically recommended for other age groups.

The FDA and CDC do not currently recommend booster shots for between 5-12 but Pfizer is looking at the possibility, especially after the outcome of a new study.

“We haven’t yet heard from FDA or from the CDC regarding boosters for that age group, but I anticipate as we get closer to that period that we will start to see more of more news around that as or as they start to plan for that rollout,” said Melissa Viray, Acting Director for the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts.

But that’s still a big if.

New data researchers from New York state shows the only COVID vaccine children 5 to 11 can take, Pfizer-BioNTech, offers almost no protection against infection.

The findings have not been peer-reviewed, but researchers found the vaccine’s effectiveness in that age group dropped from 68 percent in mid-December to just 12 percent by the end of January... As omicron was spreading.

Viray says although the current findings are not promising as of now, she expects that vaccines will be available for this age group soon.

“I would be surprised knowing what we have seen in other age groups and what we’ve seen regarding the immunology of this virus. I would be surprised if there is not a booster for the five to elevens,” said Viray.

Many families aren’t thinking boosters yet. That’s because the majority of children under 12 aren’t vaccinated at all.

Only 30-40 percent of kids between 5-11 in the Richmond-Henrico region have gotten their first dose.

“I think it’s really important to reiterate that, you know, we have not there are no the way these vaccines work, there’s not going to be any impact on their development. There’s not going to be developed any impact on their ability to have children or be healthy down the road,” said Viray.

For children under five, there’s not a lot of promising news just yet for an effective vaccine, which can make for challenging situations for parents.

Viray believes that worries for parents like quarantining plans and childcare will be more streamlined as Americans continue to live with this virus.

“I think as we move forward, as vaccines become more of an option and as we see these next wave coming through,” said Viray, “I think our hope is that we will come to a more of a balanced rhythm with regards to how we are able to keep kids in school predictably, you can’t predict it’s going to get sick.”

Vaccine makers are already developing new formulas for new strains like they did for Omicron.

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