WISCONSIN — Children as young as 12 are expected to be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as Wednesday.
The FDA extended its emergency use approval Monday for Pfizer's shot. A CDC advisory committee meets today, and a full recommendation is expected as early as Wednesday. If the CDC recommends it, 12 to 15 year olds could start getting shots before the end of the week.
Dr. Raj Naik is a pediatrician with Gunderson Health. He called the data coming out of clinical trials "excellent news."
More than two thousand kids in this age group were involved in trials.
"The vaccine really had a similar safety profile to those 16 and up with the most common side effects again being the short-term, self-limited ones, like injection site discomfort, headache, fatigue, some joint pain, sometimes fever and chills," Dr. Naik said.
Dr. Naik also commented on the efficacy in this age group.
"In terms of how many breakthrough COVID cases they had in the trial, it was actually 100% effective," he said.
The immune response was also a little bit better in 12 to 15-year-olds compared to the 16-25 age group.
Dr. Naik does expect some vaccine hesitancy from parents but remains optimistic many will come around.
"I expect that to improve as the experience increases over time with the vaccine and once neighbors, friends, other kids are safely receiving the vaccine, which I fully expect to happen, others will become more confident," he said.