Iowa doctors: COVID-19 vaccinations for younger kids could come by end of October

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 7:13 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Pediatricians in Iowa say vaccinations for younger kids could come by the end of October.

New data shows the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for kids ages 5-11.

Pfizer said it will seek emergency use authorization as soon as possible for the vaccine for that age group.

For younger kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose, a third of the amount given in the shot right now. Still, antibody levels were enough to protect kids from the virus.

The research involved 4,500 kids in four different countries.

The vaccine in kids ages 5-11 will go through the same scrutiny and approval process that the vaccine in older age groups went through. The vaccine still needs to get a recommended approval from the Food and Drug Administration advisory board and then Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.

Right now in Iowa, kids make up the most new COVID-19 cases.

Twenty-nine percent of new cases in Iowa are those under 18.

Jessica Zuzga-Reed, a pediatric ICU physician at Mercy One, said the delta variant is also sending more kids to the hospital and intensive care.

So, a vaccine for a younger age group could be a breakthrough in the fight against the virus.

“We are seeing more children in the hospital, we’re seeing more children in the intensive care units, and that includes here in the state of Iowa,” Zuzga-Reed said. “I would love nothing more than to be able to prevent children from coming to the hospital, let alone the ICU.”

Zuzga-Reed also encouraged parents to get their kids vaccinated.

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