Alabama’s health officials discuss Pfizer’s stop of COVID-19 vaccine for children
Alabama’s health officials discuss Pfizer’s stop of COVID-19 vaccine for children

Alabama’s health officials discuss Pfizer’s stop of COVID-19 vaccine for children

(WHNT) – While COVID-19 vaccines have been available to most Americans for over a year, one group remains uncovered – children under five.

On Friday, Pfizer announced that it would stop production of its vaccine for children aged six months to four years. The vaccine has been well received in young children, but the third dose does not provide as much protection as the company hoped.

“The people responsible for making these recommendations are very focused on the two big goals, security and ethnicity,” said Dr. Wes Stubblefield of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

Parents now have to wait a little longer for a COVID-19 vaccine for their children under five. After Pfizer saw that the last dose of their vaccine series did not reach the desired level of protection, production was halted.

“Maybe in April we will see the data on the third dose and it will look better,” Stubblefield continued.

Instead of releasing a partial vaccine series, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided that it would be best to wait for more data. Stubblefield says that after these results come in, federal regulators will review the results and then they could start recommending it to the youngest population.

“After the two-month interval, there would be 21-day intervals [from] the first two and then two months for the third, ”Stubblefield said. “This would just be for health kids with the very small dose, instead of going ahead and just doing it now. That decision was theirs and that was what they made.”

Stubblefield advises parents of young children susceptible to serious illness to proceed with caution.

“Again, they keep a close eye, talk to their doctor and pediatrician, the family doctor, their specialist and make sure they keep their children safe,” Stubblefield concluded. “This would be for any of these diseases, especially COVID, as it can be so serious.”

Pfizer expects to have complete data on the impact of the third shot in early April.

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