Stanford doctor involved in pediatric Pfizer trial says COVID vaccine for children under 5 is safe

Stanford is one of the centers in the U.S. that has been involved with the pediatric Pfizer trial since the beginning.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Stanford doctor says Pfizer vaccine for kids under 5 is safe
A Stanford doctor who has been working with Pfizer on COVID vaccines for young children, says the shot developed for those under 5 is safe.

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- A major development happened Tuesday in the fight against coronavirus.

Pfizer officially asked the FDA to allow COVID-19 vaccines for kids younger than five-years-old.

If authorized, it would be the first vaccine available for kids that young.

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Patricia Conwell, a mom of an 18-month-old son, is thrilled that a big step has been made that will eventually allow him to be vaccinated.

"It's absolutely a huge relief. I mean, my kid was born during COVID," Conwell said, "We don't have a sense of normalcy."

Work done right here in the Bay Area has led to the big announcement from Pfizer.

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Stanford is one of the centers in the U.S. that has been involved with the pediatric Pfizer trial since the beginning.

Principal investigator Dr. Yvonne Maldonado says the work they've been doing is crucial.

"There's a lot of people out there who don't think this disease is a big deal for children," Dr. Maldonado, "Yet we're seeing kids in the hospital, we're seeing kids who died, unfortunately. We don't want children to be hospitalized, we want them to stay healthy."

If the FDA gives emergency use authorization, the Pfizer shots that kids would receive would be just one-tenth of what adults get.

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What still has to be determined is how many shots kids would need.

Studies found that two of the extra-low doses were found to be strong enough for babies but not two to four-year-olds so Pfizer is testing three shots.

One thing Doctor Maldonado says is clear, is safety.

"We haven't seen any concerns about safety. So that's always the big, big issue," she said, "That's the main point. 'Is this vaccine safe?' It looks extremely safe so far, and we don't anticipate that it will change in this age group."

In the coming weeks, the FDA may consider authorizing two shots, with a third shot being cleared later on if the study supports it.

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Once the FDA approves it, then it has to be cleared by the CDC.

A moment parents like Conwell can't wait for.

"The relief of knowing that we can go to a restaurant, we can go to the library, we can go on a flight," Conwell said, "While, he still may get it, he's still more protected, and the symptoms will be reduced if he has the vaccination."