November 1st The FDA granted an EUA to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for ages 5-11 on 10/29/21. They voted 17-0 to recommend the EUA. This comes after an independent advisory panel also recommended approval to the FDA. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to also recommend the vaccine for this age group on November 2nd.
What is the reaction of the Providers of Four Seasons Pediatrics?
Dr. Ashley Apruzzese – “This is great news! Getting children in this age group vaccinated will provide them with protection, help prevent them from spreading the virus to others, AND help keep them in school and extracurricular activities!”
Dr. Harry Miller – “After 3 waves we have learned that this virus is remarkably adaptive and is here to stay. Children ages 5-11 represent 39% of the infections in children. Vaccination remains the most effective option in slowing down mutations. This will have the biggest impact on returning kids to school to date. I highly endorse it and hope parents embrace it”
Dr. Kimberly Elmer – “I am excited about the upcoming approval of the Pfizer Pediatric Covid Vacvine and anticipate our first doses arriving soon. I am often asked what would you do for your children. Although my boys are older and have already been vaccinated, if they were in the 5 to 11 age group I would vaccinate them without hesitation. We should do everything we can to get this pandemic behind us.”
Joyce Gillespie, RPA – “Vaccinating children is our best opportunity for a return to a full life with friends and family! I fully recommend it!”
Jason Lange, DO – “This is fantastic! The vaccine is one-third the amount of the adult dose, safe, and very effective. Now all of my family will be fully vaccinated. Making us less likely to acquire and spread this virus to others. Let’s do our part and protect each other and our communities!”
Zyra O’Connor, MD – “I’m very excited about finally getting children in this age group the opportunity for protection! As a mom and pediatrician, this makes me so hopeful that we will get back to enjoying our friends and families soon!”
Melissa Ungeheuer, DO – “I am excited that we will be able to offer the COVID vaccine to our younger patients. This will allow our children to stay in school and start to see life go back to
Four Seasons Pediatrics has been preparing for this process, and placed an order for the vaccine in anticipation of these events. We are currently working with our staff to determine how we can best offer the vaccine. We will immediately offer the vaccine to those that have an appointment already scheduled and desire to get it. If you are coming in, visit this link  for details on what forms to fill out before your visit. We will also immunize siblings of those who have an appointment if you have the forms required in the link above.
We feel that children are an important part of returning all (children and adults) to school, camps, visits with relatives and to prevent the complications (although rare) to children. Immunizing children reduces viral multiplication and therefore will delay mutations. Mutations will continue to occur and force an updated vaccine (booster) at some point. Vaccination of children adds to the delay of the booster dose. We have reviewed the efficacy and safety data and recommend this vaccine.
What about long term side effects?
Although this is a new approval – the children studied have been carefully watched to determine if there were any differences in reactions compared to older children. The reactions were similar and mild. We remain more concerned about the long term side effects of COVID itself. As seen in this link , 757 children have died from COVID to date, and in this link , 4315 children have been hospitalized with COVID to date. As of October 2021 , 5,217 children have had MIS-C , the most concerning long covid symptoms. We definitely feel that it is much more desirable for children to get a vaccination of the outer surface proteins than to get the short and long term effects associated with getting full COVID infection.