The Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the FDA for children ages 12 to 15 years old. Vaccinating this demographic is crucial to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, but many are still hesitant of vaccinating their children. Veronica McNally of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices seeks to reassure parents that the Pfizer vaccine is as effective for kids as it is for adults.
“As of last week the Pfizer vaccine … 138 million doses had been administered … and an adolescent trial indicated 100% efficacy … and as of today several thousand children have received the Pfizer vaccine.” —Veronica McNally, Michigan State University
Listen: CDC Immunization Advisory Committee member Veronica McNally talks vaccines for kids.
Veronica McNally is assistant dean for experiential education at Michigan State University College of Law and serves on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. She says the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for kids 12 and older. “As of last week the Pfizer vaccine … 138 million doses had been administered … and an adolescent trial indicated 100% efficacy … and as of today several thousand children have received the Pfizer vaccine.” McNally says there’s no difference in the way that kids and adults receive the vaccine. “The dosing is the same as it is for adults. Two doses 21 days apart.”
McNally says eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine gives kids a chance to catch up on their immunizations. ”The rollout [of 12+ COVID vaccine effort] has been going quite well … but what’s interesting is that we are starting to see that it’s becoming available in pediatric offices. This is significant because pediatric immunization rates dropped last year.”
McNally says the most important thing to ensure the safety of both children and adults is to get the vaccine. ”I think there is concern about whether or not we can beat the race against the variants … they’re popping up consistently … we want to make sure we are getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”