INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Pfizer is on the path to full FDA approval of their COVID-19 vaccine in kids ages 12-15 years old. The vaccine will undergo a thorough review by agency this week.
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The authorization could be a game changer, health officials say, moving the U.S. closer to herd immunity. However, there’s more to it, Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health, told News 8.
“Lowering the age to a younger age group is an important next step in terms of community spread and how intergenerations get exposed,” he said. “Having the younger generations protected is certainly going to be helpful.”
But the U.S. is unlikely to achieve either of these goals if parents don’t follow through. According to a recent survey by data analytics company Invisibly, parents are split. Forty-seven percent say they don’t intend to get their kids vaccinated at all. Fifty-three percent say they will, but only 26 percent of that number say they will do so immediately.
Hoosiers are also torn. News 8 spoke with one parent who said he is concerned about the side effects and feels the vaccine process was too rushed. Another parent said the opposite. She absolutely would get her children vaccinated considering several of her older family members are immunocompromised and aren’t able to be immunized themselves. One dad said he’s just not sure yet.
Doehring says it’s essential that parents come around. Studies have shown the vaccine to be safe and effective in this group and scientists have been building upon research that’s been going on for over a year.
“[Kids] are prime spreaders. So there is no doubt this will help us get towards either true herd immunity or functional herd immunity, which means spread has dropped down to such a low level that there is really not the compelling need for the other interventions that we have today,” he said.
WATCH the full interview here: