DALLAS — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children between 12 and 15. This could happen next week, maybe sooner.
Many parents understandably have questions about the safety of the vaccine for children, so Dr. Beth Kassanoff-Piper answered some frequently asked questions. She is President of the Dallas County Medical Society.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for people 16 years and older. Dr. Kassanoff-Piper is confident about expanding eligibility.
"I would absolutely, whole-heartedly get my kids vaccinated," Kassanoff-Piper said.
What is the effectiveness of the vaccine on kids?
"There are about 2,200 kids in the study, and of the kids that were vaccinated, none of them got COVID," Kassanoff-Piper said.
She said the shot that the young adolescents received in the clinical trial is the same dosage as what million of adults have received
What are the side effects?
Children may have similar side effects as adults too.
"Some body aches, maybe a low-grade fever, some fatigue, a little headache, but definitely not out of proportion to what we've seen in other age groups," said Dr. Kassanoff-Piper.
She strongly believes children should get the COVID-19 vaccine if it is approved to be distributed.
Why should I get my kids vaccinated?
Even though kids are at less risk of severe symptoms, she said there are concerns of the COVID-19 variants having a larger impact on children.
"We want to do everything we can to protect our kids and to protect our family members that are around those kids too," Kassanoff-Piper said.
In Canada, the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for kids between 12 to 15 years old. It is the first country to approve vaccinating children in that age group.
The FDA is expected to do the same by next week. And in September, Pfizer plans to request emergency-use authorization for children between 2 to 11 years old.