SF clinic gearing up as FDA gets closer to authorizing vaccine for kids under 5

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Saturday, April 23, 2022
SF clinic gears up to vaccinate kids under 5 pending authorization
Golden Gate Pediatrics in San Francisco are gearing up for about 4,000 of their patients who are between 4 years old and 6 months.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 5 years old could be around the corner.

"There is a lot of excitement. There are also some that are on the wait and see camp," said Mike Gangel, CEO of Golden Gate Pediatrics.

For months, doctors at Golden Gate Pediatrics in San Francisco have been vaccinating children five and older, but now they are gearing up for about 4,000 of their patients who are between 4 years old and 6 months.

That's the group that would qualify to get vaccinated once the FDA gives the greenlight.

VIDEO: Doctor explains why FDA delaying COVID vaccine authorization for kids under 5 is a good thing

As the FDA waits on more data before authorizing Pfizer's COVID vaccine for kids under 5-years-old, a Bay Area doctor explains this is a good thing.

"We'll roll out our Saturday clinics which is what we've done with our other ages in the past. So once word comes out we have our staff on notice and hopefully they have some Saturdays to help us out and we start scheduling as soon," said Gangel.

For now, these doctors are on standby. That's the same feeling Eve and Mark have been faced with. Their 2-year-old is the only one in their household who's unvaccinated.

"It's kind of the missing loop for us. We have an older son who is already vaccinated and boosted. We are all vaccinated and boosted so he is that kind of the last piece of the puzzle that we are waiting on," said Eve Diamond.

A vaccine for children could be authorized by the FDA as early as June, according to a top Biden administration officials.

RELATED: California postpones COVID-19 vaccine mandate for schools until 2023

Dr. David Cornfield, chief of pediatric pulmonary at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford explains what the FDA is tracking before they make a decision.

"The FDA is looking at two components of the data. One is safety and the other is efficacy. From the safety perspective the present data is really borne out that there is no real relatively risk over the general population. The second component is data relatively to efficacy which really shows some decrease in the incidents of hospitalization and certainly of severe illness," said Dr. Cornfield.

For now this family is limiting any exposure.

"We waited this long so I'm just hoping that it comes thru in the near term which is June. It's not that far out really," said Mark Milliet.

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