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Metro Detroit parents prep for COVID-19 vaccine approval in kids 5-11; here's when it could happen

Pfizer vaccine
Posted at 5:47 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 08:09:59-04

Metro Detroit parents are bracing for the next big step forward in the battle against COVID-19 — vaccinating younger kids.

Pfizer and BioNTech requested emergency use authorization of its vaccine for kids 5-11. Currently, the shot is approved for kids 12 and up.

In Michigan, more than 36% of kids ages 12-15 are fully vaccinated, with 40% receiving at least one dose.

Cyerra Byse, a mom in metro Detroit, said she and her kids always mask up, and now, they could be one step closer to another layer of protection with the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I can't control where everybody else goes I can just protect my household," Byse said.

Dr. Bassel Salman, a pediatric hospitalist and pulmonologist at Beaumont Health, is hoping local parents get on board if and when the green light is given.

Dr. Paul Kilgore, the director of research in the department of pharmacy at Wayne State University said so far, the results "look very good."

In terms of timing, an FDA panel will meet to review the data on Oct. 26. For context, in adults, it was about three weeks in between the application for emergency use authorization until shots when into arms.

The dosage will also be different. It's only about a third of what adults receive.

"It's going to be a lower antigen content. In other words, the adult version of the vaccine is 30 micrograms, the pediatric dosage for the 5 to 12 years-olds is going to be about 10 micrograms," Kilgore said.

Many parents want to know about the side effects. For some 28 million kids across the country who would be eligible if its approved, common side effects are similar to those in adults — sore arm, tiredness and headaches.

"She gets vaccines regularly and I do make sure she gets the flu shots. So to makes sure she is protected at school I wouldn't mind giving it to her," she said.

Just as we've seen with masking, how parents feel remains split.

Tyler Rubio, from Oakland Township, said no way.

"You don't need a vaccine for everything. Rub some dirt in it…it works my kids are great. I feel great," he said.

The first step in seeking emergency use approval comes as the state health department reports 375 kids under 12 become infected with COVID-19 every day.

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