Recently, Pfizer and BioNTech asked the FDA to provide emergency use authorization to provide COVID 19 vaccine to children age 5-11 years. The vaccine will be a smaller dose. Research has shown the side effect profile to be like that in adults. Children with COVID 19 infection can display no symptoms. Since returning to school, there has been a significant increase in children with COVID 19. COVID 19 infection represents a risk to children with underlying lung or heart problems. Children receiving treatment for cancer or autoimmune disorders are at the most significant threat.

For this reason, immunizing children against COVID 19 is a crucial strategy for protecting ALL children. The delta variant of COVID 19 is 1000 times more infectious than the original. We have started to see children who have contracted the virus twice. The risk of spreading the virus is lower when masked. Unfortunately, most children do not wear masks properly.

The Pfizer vaccine produces a strong antibody response in children with minimal adverse effects. An independent advisory committee will review the Pfizer data on October 26th. After that, the FDA will announce its recommendations. The vaccine is currently available at our office for children 12 years and older. Should the FDA recommend it, my office will provide it. Adult family members are welcome to receive the vaccine.

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