Important Questions Arising On COVID-19 Vaccine Like-Why Do Kids Need a COVID-19 Vaccine?

 The Food and Drug Administration and the CDC both agreed that Pfizer can now distribute their vaccine for five to eleven-year-old children to two-dose vaccine separated by three weeks. But unlike the vaccine given to those over twelve years of age, where the dose was 30 micrograms per dose, where the dose is ten micrograms. So it's a third of the dose that's given to older adolescents and adults it is on the FDA's Vaccine Advisory Committee. we were one of those who voted for this, and it was basically unanimously for this vaccine. There were no votes. And we think everyone who voted yes would do that only if they would imagine that they would vaccinate their own children or grandchildren.

 So why give it? Do children really need this vaccine? And the answer is yes, young children need this vaccine because they can get infected. Also, a third of those who are hospitalized have had no preexisting conditions that put them at high risk of getting severe COVID. Nonetheless, they still got it. In addition, and probably one of the most compelling reasons to vaccinate a five to eleven-year-old is that there is a disorder called multisystem inflammatory disease, which is really a postinfectious phenomenon, meaning when a child gets this infection and then resolves their infection so that a month later they're not shedding virus anymore, they still can get this phenomenon characterized by fever, including high fever, lung involvement, liver, kidney, and heart involvement. It's called a multisystem inflammatory disease or MISC and it's primarily disease of the five to 13 year old child with a peak at about nine years of age. 

So this group, the five to eleven-year-old, is specifically at risk for this particular multisystem inflammatory disease. And so then the question becomes, does the vaccine work? There was a 2400 child trial, sort of two to one vaccine to placebo, 1600 children got the vaccine, 800 got a placebo. There were 16 cases in the placebo group, three in the vaccine group of COVID. And so that was a vaccine efficacy of and so that was a vaccine efficacy of 91% plus you know how well this vaccine already worked in twelve to 15-year-olds. You know how well it's already worked in adults. So you have an enormous platform of safety and efficacy to stand on. 

Then the third question is safety. Can we be reassured that it's safe? We do know that there was this phenomenon called myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart and muscle that did occur in young males over 16 years of age when the initial Pfizer trials were done. It is somewhat reassuring that that phenomenon, which was very rare, sort of in the one in 40,000 range, one in 50,000 range overall for those people who got that vaccine, was actually less common in the twelve to 15 year old. That was reassuring. 

Also, the dose that's given to the five to eleven-year-old is less than that given to the twelve to 15-year-old or adult. So again that's reassuring although it is wholly possible that myocarditis may be a very rare side of the effect of this vaccine, you're far exponentially more likely to have the myocrine if you get the disease than if you get the vaccine.