When 12 to 15-year-olds could get COVID-19 vaccine in US

Friday, April 30, 2021
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Many Bay Area families are anxious to vaccinate their children and resume school and activities. But when will there be enough doses and is it safe?

On Thursday, NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci said there should be enough information to vaccinate children of any age by the end of 2021 or first quarter of 2022. Earlier this month, Pfizer filed with the FDA for authorization to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds.

Many Bay Area families are anxious to vaccinate their children and resume school and activities.

"I wanted her to get vaccinated since day one," said San Francisco mom, Roshon Murray, whose daughter, Kaiveyh Robinson, is asthmatic.

Kaiveyh is in 6th grade but has never set foot inside middle school. "I would like to be able to know how it feels to be in middle school, really, like inside the building."

Right now, Pfizer is authorized only in people 16 and older. Kaiveyh is 12, which means she's in the next group of kids, ages 12 to 15, who could get vaccinated.

"At first I didn't want to get it, but if me getting it means I'll be able to go back to school and play sports and do things that I like, I'll get it."

San Francisco's Department of Public Health tells ABC7 reporter, Kate Larsen, that operationally they're preparing to vaccinate the 12-15-year-old group. All that needs to happen is the actual authorization from the FDA."

"The safety signals are really good and we anticipate that they won't be different for children," explained Stanford's Dr. Yvonne Maldonado.

She's chair of the committee on infectious diseases for the American Academy of Pediatrics and has been reviewing data from Pfizer's trials involving teens and children. "We'll have access pretty soon, to the whole data set, but what I've seen so far looks really good."

Kate Larsen: "Will the dosing regimen be any different than it is for adults?"

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado: "Well that's what we're investigating right now, we don't know the answer to that."

Dr. Maldonado expects answers about dosing and the impact of the vaccine on children to materialize soon. "Even before school, it's going to make a big difference this summer. People want to get out and vacation"

Pfizer announced that at the end of May they will introduce 25-vial packs of their vaccine, which is 8 times smaller than their current 195 vial pack size. which contains 1170 doses.

The smaller, 450 dose packs, are more manageable for doctor's offices, like pediatric practices, that don't need massive quantities of vaccine. The hope is that families will feel comfortable getting the vaccine from their own doctor.

Roshon works for the Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness and counsels vaccine-hesitant people. "Bringing it closer to home having people of color and people that care because they can talk to you and educate you and walk you through it is a big help."