Printable Version - COVID-19 Vaccines approved

December 19, 2020

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and now the Moderna vaccine, have been given emergency approval by the FDA. 

Neither vaccine has been approved for children under 16.  Both companies have started testing their vaccines on kids 12 and older, but results have not been announced.  Neither company has announced testing in children under 12.

At the moment, COVID-19 vaccination for children is a moot point.  Vaccine doses are short enough supply that only a fraction of "front-line" workers will be able to receive the two-dose series anytime soon.  So children would, understandably, be at the "back of the line" for vaccines anyway, for now.

As a result, some experts are not optimistic that schools will open as usual in the fall, 2021.  Children may still be learning under COVID-19 restrictions next school year.

Several patients have asked me about my trust in a Coronavirus vaccine. The question is reasonable, given the hype, the politics, and the rapidity of development.  But the information that I have seen gives me confidence.  Vaccine manufacturers have been very open about their data on effectiveness, and they have been careful to report and act on major side effects.  Britain and Canada have approved the Pfizer vaccine, which reassures me that American politics have not influenced their judgment.  So, I am much more confident than I would have been, had these vaccines been approved in October or November.  (Of course, the more doses are given, the more data we'll have about effectiveness and side effects.)

We do not have the vaccine available in my office yet.  When it is available, it will likely be delivered to us through the Delaware Division of Public Health.  There is a distribution process already set up.  I will post again when I know more!

Click HERE to read my extensive CORONAVIRUS handout.

     --  Dr. Epstein


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