Florida pediatricians welcome news that COVID-19 vaccine could be approved for children by next month

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children age five to 11 could happen as early as next month, according to former FDA commissioner and Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gotlieb.

“You could potentially have a vaccine available for children age five to 11 by Halloween, if everything goes well,” said Dr. Gotlieb.

It’s welcome news for pediatricians, who have witnessed a rise in cases and even deaths among children recently, due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics feels the Delta Virus has been a game changer. It is so infectious, remember one person with Delta can infect up to five to seven other people who are not immunized,” said Dr. Paul Robinson, member and past president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He explained that’s especially significant compared to the 2.3 people infected on average by transmission of the original strain.

“We’ve already more than doubled the death rate under the delta virus. And I’m afraid there will be more just again because so many more kids are getting infected,” said Gotlieb.

Back in August, the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote a letter asking the FDA to strongly consider authorizing the vaccine for children five to 11. Still, many parents have concerns. In our recent poll, fewer than half of respondents said they would give their child the vaccine if they became eligible.

Dr. Robinson is strongly encouraging families to get vaccinated, and to reach out their pediatrician if they have any questions.

According to Robinson, “The risk of this vaccination are much lower than the risk of COVID.”

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