Opinion: We want our kids vaccinated -- but we can't rush the process 2

Opinion: We want our kids vaccinated — but we can’t rush the process

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As mothers who are also public health professionals, we follow the data. We’ve read extensively about the safety and efficacy of the adult Covid-19 mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. And now we are reading Moderna’s news releases carefully, trying to piece together how quickly the company might submit a request to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for young kids. (“In the coming weeks,” said Moderna.) Following the data has given us confidence in the vaccine’s safety, and we both have tried to enroll our kids in vaccine trials (one of us succeeded with enrollment in the Moderna trial). And now, our families, like so many others, are awaiting news from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine trials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.We want a vaccine for our kids, especially now that many people are unmasking and a subvariant is threatening a new surge. But we know waiting for the FDA’s stamp of approval is a critical part of the process; when a vaccine is available for our young kids, we will rest assured that it has been thoroughly vetted. In February, we found ourselves in a similar situation, on what seemed like the brink of FDA authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for kids 6 months through 4 years of age. But just as FDA scientists were poised to convene a public meeting to discuss authorization, they decided to delay their review until Pfizer could provide data from a third dose. Our dreams that our kids could get vaccinated as Omicron surged were dashed. Although frustrating, this underscored the scientific rigor and caution of vaccine trials and oversight. There are never shortcuts — not even when we wish they would move quickly.

We’ll know more about Moderna’s trial data when the company applies for emergency use authorization. But what little we know seems hopeful: Last week’s news release shared that kids 6 months through 5 years of age had similar immune responses to the 25 micrograms pediatric dosages as adults who also received two doses of the 100 micrograms adult dosage. The vaccine’s protection against infection was also similar for the kids in the trial compared with adults who received two doses during the same time period when Omicron was dominant.

When we know more about the trial data, we’ll be comparing what we know about the vaccine with what we know about Covid-19’s risks for our kids, families and communities.

Nearly 13 million kids have already been infected — 4.5 million since January alone. What will happen if our kids are infected, maybe not just once, but many times during their lives? While most kids recover, some are hospitalized or die and Covid-19 has become a…

Source: Opinion: We want our kids vaccinated — but we can’t rush the process
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