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Western Upper Peninsula Health Department responds to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial results

FDA could give emergency approval for those aged 5-11 in a few weeks
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Children ages 5-11 could possibly be eligible for COVID-19 immunization very soon. This after Pfizer and BioNTech released positive trial results on Monday for that particular group.

The Western U.P. Health Department’s Provisional Medical Director, Dr. Robert Van Howe, says it is about time.

“We’ve been waiting for this,” he said. “We knew it was going to happen. It’s just nice to see that they found a dose that’s safe and effective for that age group.”

According to the report, children in the trials were given a lesser dose compared to people age 16-25 in a previous study.

At the moment, the Food and Drug Administration could give emergency approval for those aged 5-11 in a matter of weeks. That means U.P. health departments could help put shots in arms very soon.

“A lot of that depends on the supply line,” Van Rowe explained. “So as soon as they can ship us the vaccine or give us an idea of how big of a dose needs to be given.”

He says there has been a spike in cases among those 18 and under since the Delta Variant arrived. With mask mandates in place in some school districts, he says getting enough children vaccinated could help lift them.

“If we’re seeing a trend where we’re not seeing the infections that we are now, and we’re not seeing the infections in that age group, then we can start backing off on the mitigation efforts,” Van Rowe stated.

He advises parents to get their kids vaccinated at the earliest opportunity.

“It will decrease the spread of the virus,” he said. “The other reason is if they are exposed to someone who has the infection, they don’t have to quarantine.”

Pfizer’s trial results for kids under the age of five are expected to come out later this year.

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