By Cat Kemp
As of Monday, September 20, 2021, Pfizer announced that the clinical trials of their COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 are showing promising results. Although the dosage given to younger children is only a third of the amount of the normal shot, the trials have shown that they are still gaining the same amount of protective antibodies as children above the age of 12. Side effects to the vaccine still occurred, but according to Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña, director of Global Health for Northwell Health in New York, “side effects were milder in this age group than with adults and older children.” The most common side effects are injection site pain or a fever. Covid cases have surged recently, with nearly 5.3 million children testing positive during the week of September 9, 2021. The new delta variant is also extremely rampant and dangerous for kids. Due to the rising cases of covid in children, the other companies with effective covid vaccines, such as Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, are also doing trials to test the effectiveness and safety of their vaccines on younger children. According to Cioe-Peña, vaccinating this group of kids is extremely important, not only to stop the consistent growth of this rampant disease but also to help the economy. “Kids being in schools is important for their academic and social development,” he states. When kids are stuck at home, not only is their ability to learn negatively impacted, but the parents of these kids are also forced to stay at home and are not able to work in person. The vaccine has not yet been released for children aged 5-11, but with these promising statistics, it will hopefully be soon. Testing for vaccines for children under the age of five is also underway, and will hopefully have public results by the end of the year.