For several months, many parents have been anxiously waiting for the day when children under the age of 12 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, wondering: what’s the hold up?
Well, the “hold-up” has basically been that researchers are looking closely at dosages, testing small amounts in young children to make sure they’re both safe and effective.
Now that Pfizer is on the verge of being able to distribute its vaccine to young children, here’s what parents need to know:
Children ages 5 to 11 are given a dose that is one-third the size given to adults.
First, it is important to remember that children under the age of 12 are No Eligible for any of the three COVID vaccines currently available for teens and adults in the US
Pfizer is the furthest away with the vaccine company recently announced The low-dose vaccine is both safe and effective in children 5 to 11 years of age. The Food and Drug Administration has said it expects the company to submit a request for emergency use authorization soon and is holding October 26 For a meeting of the Advisory Committee to discuss the matter.
Therefore, it suggests that babies can start rolling up their sleeves in just a few weeks.
If and when that happens, they’ll get a dose that’s a third of the size given to teens and adults — and they’ll also need to get two shots.
Adults get two 30-microgram doses, so children ages 5-11 will get two doses. 10-microgram dosage. (Pfizer is currently studying even smaller doses in children under age 5. They are Not likely to be eligible by 2022.)
Moderna has not yet published any findings from testing it in young children, although it has low dose study.
The smaller dosage is not based solely on the size of the children.
Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, told HuffPost, researchers are looking at “age-related weight gain and how the drug will be distributed through the body.”
But it’s not the only factor, he explained. The trial researchers (he’s not the one) also accounted for the fact that children’s immune systems differ from those of adults.
Indeed, pediatricians often emphasize that from a physical point of view children are not just small adults. And the pandemic has made that clear. Children are much less likely to become seriously ill or die from COVID-19, and they the immune system is likely It has a lot to do with it – although experts are still studying why and how.
If your child isn’t old enough for the vaccine yet… wait.
whereas Many parents are skeptical To get their kids vaccinated, others are counting down the minutes until they become eligible. But Arizona has cautioned an 11.5-year-old child against taking an adult-sized dose of the vaccine for now. Or getting a 10-year-old who is an adult-sized shot of an adult.
“While you may have an adult-size 10-year-old, that doesn’t necessarily mean the immune system is adult-sized,” he said, stressing again that trials in children have largely focused on dosing and safety.
The researchers “basically said that all 5- to 11-year-olds got this dose — and we made sure this dose is safe in 5 to 11-year-olds,” Esper said.
Of course, pediatricians and other primary care physicians are watching all of this carefully, so if you have any questions about your child or their special circumstances, now is a really good time, experts say.
As Doctor. mundeep cantho, a pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York, previously told HuffPost: “If you have any concerns, or hesitations, or just plain old ‘I want to understand more’ type questions, it’s time to reach out.”
Experts are still learning about COVID-19. The information in this story is what was known or available at the time of publication, but guidance may change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention For the most updated recommendations.
This article originally appeared on huffpost and has been updated.