(WHNT) — Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that children ages five to 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. However, the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) has not given the final approval or a distribution date, as of November 1.
Dr. Peily Soong, a pediatrician at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham says although there’s no date for distribution, parents have been calling about a vaccine for children for months.
“It’s been anticipated by a good number of families and hopeful that they can get their kids vaccinated and protect their kids from COVID as well,” Dr. Soong told News 19.
While the anticipation is a good sign to see from families, Dr. Soong says without an official date of when they’ll be receiving the vaccine, there are still hurdles when it comes to setting appointments, which he anticipates is going on at many offices around the state and the country.
“The issue is that we really don’t know when we’re actually going to get the vaccine, so it’s hard to schedule appointments or tell them when they can come in to get it,” Soong stated.
However, Soong says Children’s of Alabama has a plan on distribution, once they receive the vaccine.
Still, some parents are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine for their kids. Some are trying to make appointments beforehand, some are calling with questions and others are still not confident in getting their kids vaccinated.
For those who are still apprehensive, Dr. Soong says that could cause a downward trend.
“As you go down in age it’s less and less and we see that with the teenagers and it’s probably less than what we see with adults and I’m kind of anticipating the same that we’ll see less of the younger kids, elementary school kids get it,” Soong told News 19.
Originally, it was thought that COVID-19 wouldn’t affect children; however, Dr. Soong says while it doesn’t affect kids nearly as bad as adults, they’re still at risk.
“We do see kids get COVID, get sick from COVID, be hospitalized with COVID as well,” Soong continued. “Especially during this last wave, of the Delta variant wave we did see a lot more kids get hospitalized with COVID.”
If you have reservations about getting your child vaccinated, Dr. Soong says the tests conducted in children ages five to 11 show positive data.
“Looking at the studies of the FDA, the side effects were actually were less than than what we saw in the teenagers so I think the lower dose will be more tolerated with the younger kids,” Soong concluded.
Soong says while they may experience some side effects like, fever, fatigue and a sore arm, they won’t be as severe in the younger population.