FDA could approve Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids this fall, Wisconsin doctors say

NOW: FDA could approve Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids this fall, Wisconsin doctors say

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - Some doctors in Wisconsin are hearing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12 could be approved by this fall.

"We are really excited about this. We've all been waiting so long to get our kids vaccinated," Dr. Kristin Bencik said.

The FDA could approve the Pfizer vaccine for kids for emergency use authorization by the end of October. The approval would be for kids ages 5-11.

Dr. Kristin Bencik, a primary care physician at Children's Wisconsin Bay Shore, said this vaccine will likely be a different dose than the one fully FDA approved for adults ages 16 and up. Pfizer's vaccine is approved for emergency use for kids 12-15.

"They've looked at all the different strengths to see what works in kids, what's safe and what's the smallest amount of vaccine they can give  and still give that antibody response we need. Still the same vaccine but different strength," she said.

Dr. Bencik said this news is encouraging with kids back in school. More children vaccinated means there will be less disruptions during the school year.

"If you're vaccinated, you don't have to quarantine. It's not even just stopping the spread, it's keeping them there physically to learn in school," Dr. Bencik said.

She said this vaccine will also prevent kids from being hospitalized and suffering from long-term effects of the virus.

"There's that MISC, the multisystem inflammatory condition. Those are all known effects of COVID and everyone is concerned about the long-term effects of the vaccine. But we need to look at what we really know, which is the long effects of COVID," Dr.  Bencik said.

Dr. Cheryl Henderson, a pediatrician at UW Health, said the delta variant is making kids more sick, so it's important parents start to seriously consider getting their kids vaccinated.

"The vaccine itself, as we anticipate it will follow what we see in adults, should really help to prevent these serious illnesses overall," Dr. Henderson said.

She also said any parent concerned about the vaccine should talk with their pediatrician.

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