Local doctor weighs in on pros/cons of children getting Covid-19 vaccine


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Last week, it was reported that children in the U.S. as young as six months old could be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine against the Coronavirus by the end of this month.

The plan is for federal regulators to begin gathering data for a two dose vaccination for the age range of 6 months to 5 years old. 

Dr. Michael Bigham works as the Chief Quality Officer at Akron Children’s Hospital and he appeared on “Live and Local with Jordan Miller” on 1480 WHBC Tuesday saying that there is a high demand for COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We continue to have a steady and ongoing demand for the vaccine,” Bigham said. “As an example, in the month of January, we still gave 5,000 vaccines for the month of January and about 3 quarters of those are kids 5-11 years of age and about a quarter of those were aged 12 and older. Some of those were booster vaccines for those 12 and older and some were first or second doses.”

Bigham describes that the doses come in micrograms with a smaller amount given depending on the age of the individual. He says that they are waiting on a response from the FDA to see how effective this new dose is on children.

“The prediction is that a week from today, on February 15, the FDA is going to review the Pfizer request for emergency use authorization and the dose that informed the data they’re presenting are our smaller dose. So, basically the adult dose was 30 micrograms, the younger dose was 10 micrograms, and the dose that they submitted for the youngest of kids was only 3 micrograms and they requested only 2 doses of that in this emergency use of authorization is what we understand. We won’t know the full details of that study until the FDA has reviewed it and they release the data. I mentioned that everything that I might offer will be speculative until we see the benefit of that vaccine on the youngest of kids.”

The reaction from parents has been mixed about whether or not they should get their children vaccinated. Bigham says that the best way to get information is through their healthcare provider.

“I think informed decisions are really valuable and so our pediatricians are more often than not able to have a trusting and honest conversation with those families and many of them do decide to get their child vaccinated based on that honest, informed discussion. There’s a lot of misinformation out there in the media and I think that one-on-one or one-on-two conversation with the family and a patient and a parent and a health care provider adds a lot of truth to what might be otherwise misinformation out there.”