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Local vaccine clinics prepare for kids aged 5 to 11 to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 6:47 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 18:48:43-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A local vaccine clinic is preparing for when kids ages five to 11 are eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday they are seeking US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11 years old.

Tanya Tatum with the FAMU vaccine clinic said as we're seeing an increase locally in hospitalizations for kids ages five to 11, she's prepared to have everything ready for parents that want to protect their kids as soon as it's approved.

"Once the FDA does the emergency use authorization it still needs to go through a CIP, which makes a recommendation to the CDC," Tatum said. "After that, it'll come to the state and then we get guidelines from the state health department. Once that's all done. We'll be ready to go."

It's a process that Tatum said is crucial to make sure the shot is ready to be part in arms.

She said once they're administrating vaccines to ages 5-11, it'll be a different process.

"They'll be smaller doses, so we'll be monitoring that," Tatum said.

It's a 10-microgram dose, which is 1/3 of the amount adults get.

Professor of Public Health at the Institute of Public Health, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University Dr. Perry Brown said one thing to parents if they have questions about the vaccine: "Lets look at the data."

Pfizer released data from their trial that shows more than 2,000 participants ages 5 to 11 used a two-dose regimen of the vaccine administered 21 days apart.

The data concluded the vaccine to be safe and generated a "robust" antibody response.

Dr. Brown said getting kids vaccinated is a good step in flattening the curve.

"The young children will not have to rely necessary on the immunizations status of older people to cut down on transmission," Dr. Brown said.

He says the FDA goes through a long, thorough process before they give emergency use authorization.

First, the F-D-A looks at the side effects and the seriousness of them compared with other age groups. Then, it looks at the percentage of kids vaccinated versus not and what is the comparison to those contracting covid.

Finally, it sees if there is a difference in the effectiveness between each age, gender and ethnicity.

"The day after full approval when it comes, and it will come, the vaccine is no different than the day after like it was the day before," Dr. Brown said.