Expert: COVID-19 vaccine for children is way to protect them from spreading virus

The White House predicts the youngest Americans could soon have access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 10:19 PM EDT
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Mich. (WNEM) - The White House predicts the youngest Americans could soon have access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Following a final review from the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control, doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine could get emergency use authorization for children under the age of five this month.

“It’s exciting that another part of the population, this last segment of the population has access and it’s an important conversation to have, somewhat for the kids, but more for the adults around those kids,” said Flint area physician Dr. Bobby Mukkamala.

If approved, Moderna and Pfizer doses would begin shipping out to doctors’ offices and pediatric care facilities.

“Now we have a way to protect those kids and protect them from spreading it,” Mukkamala said.

Mukkamala said kids, although less likely to be severely impacted by a COVID infection, are vectors of COVID-19.

“Even though the risk is low, having them get infected and shedding that virus to grandparents, hanging out with them in the summertime or babysitting them, that sort of thing, puts other people at risk,” Mukkamala said.

He acknowledges some parents may be skeptical of vaccinating their very young children.

“What’s the point of getting the vaccine, why not just let them get sick just like chicken pox? We used to do that, but it’s really the same answer. The risk of chicken pox infection versus chicken pox vaccine, it’s more risky to have the infection. It’s the same thing with COVID,” Mukkamala said.

Some parents on the TV5 Facebook page are sounding off in the comments.

“That’s a big no for my children and myself,” said Dawn Guiliani.

“Relieved! Commenting, ‘thank goodness,’” said Nancy McGarey.

“It’s causing myocarditis in the young and old,” said Dale Janis.

“The risk of myocarditis is something a lot of people have heard about, but it’s very rare. In fact, the risk of myocarditis from the infection is higher than the risk of myocarditis from the vaccine,” Mukkamala said.

Pfizer said it is child-sized dose would be three doses at one tenth of the adult dose for kids ages six months to four years.

Moderna’s would require two doses at a third of the adult dose for those between six months to five years old.