There’s new information when it comes to kids possibly getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Tuesday, Pfizer broke down the potential timeline for when it might look to expand eligibility for its vaccine.
That would go from age 15 all the way down to 6 months.
In Connecticut, there are about 177,000 children in this age group and although doctors say the group isn't in the high-risk category for severe infection, it is possible for them to catch COVID-19, have symptoms, and spread it to those who are more vulnerable.
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With many teens now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, 17-year-old Mia Sullivan decided to roll up her sleeve for a dose.
“Most of my family was getting it. so I thought it was a good idea,” said Sullivan.
Her father. Darrell. said his other daughter, who is 15, soon might also have to figure out what to do.
“I didn’t take any hard line. They’re pretty strong-minded people. It was up to them. It was their decision,” said Darrell Sullivan.
The FDA could authorize the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those age 12 to 15 in the next week.
In a business update on Tuesday, Pfizer said it aims to ask for that to be extended to 2 to 11 years old in September and then finally 6 months to 2 years at the end of 2021.
There is a lot for parents and kids to consider very soon.
“I’m a parent myself. I’m a mom of two kids. So I can absolutely relate to all of the feelings of concern,” said Dr. Christina Johns, senior medical advisor for PM Pediatrics. which has locations in West Hartford and Manchester.
She said there is a lot of vaccine misinformation going around, as well as worries about potential long-term effects.
“What we know about all different kinds of vaccines there have been no documented severe, significant effects that have been traceable to a vaccine more than or farther out than six weeks after the vaccine dose,” said Johns.
In a study of kids age 12 to 15, the vaccine was found to be very effective and safe.
While COVID-19 poses a lower risk to children, some don’t fare as well, including becoming a so-called long hauler and others who develop a rare inflammatory syndrome.
“It is not a small thing to say, think, ‘Oh, they could just get COVID-19 infection and just be fine that way.’ It doesn’t always work out that way,” said Johns.
And infected kids can pass the virus along to others.
So when it comes to considering whether to get kids vaccinated, Doctor Johns encourages parents to have a conversation with their child’s health care provider.