Carmona ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids

Sep 21, 2021, 4:45 AM
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s top pandemic adviser feels “cautiously optimistic” about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids and believes it could help cut down the transmission of the virus.

The drugmaker announced Monday that its lower dose vaccine proved to be safe and effective for children 5 to 11 years old in clinical trials. It now plans to apply for emergency use authorization within a few weeks.

“I think this is good news,” Dr. Richard Carmona, who joined Arizona’s COVID-19 response team as an adviser late last month, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“It appears that they have evaluated enough of the studies now to feel some certainty that it is safe and efficacious.”

Pfizer tested its COVID-19 vaccine on more than 2,200 kindergartners and elementary school-aged kids and found their antibody response was as strong as it was among 16- to 25-year-olds. There were also minimal side effects reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will need to approve the vaccine before kids ages 5-to-11 years old can use it.

Carmona said if it is approved, he recommends parents get their kids vaccinated. He added parents who are concerned about how the vaccine may affect their kids should check with their doctors.

“In general all children should get vaccinated,” he added. “It’s not only helping the children, it’s helping us prevent the spread of disease inadvertently and keep this pandemic going on longer than it has to.”

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Carmona ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids