Anthony Fauci, MD, has advice for parents who are not yet sure whether to vaccinate their young children against COVID-19. Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a NPR maintenance Monday that parents of young children should follow the numbers when making their personal decision about the first pediatric COVID-19 vaccine approved for children under 12 in the United States
Following the official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 last week, NPR Host Mary Louise Kelly asked Dr Fauci how parents who are still weighing the risks and benefits of vaccination for their newly eligible children should think about the decision. “Well, first of all, we always have to respect when parents have questions, reasonable questions about it,” Dr. Fauci said. « And what you do is take them to the data. »
Dr Fauci cited evidence from the clinical trial studying the first COVID-19 vaccine for children, which the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used in their decision-making regarding the first pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. . « This is a study that has very clearly shown a high degree of effectiveness, » said Dr Fauci. In the trial, which included about 3,100 children who received the vaccine and about 1,500 who received a placebo, the vaccination was found to be nearly 91% effective in preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19. « This is really great for a vaccine, » said Dr Fauci. He noted that the study found that the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine also has a very good safety profile.
Another key data point Dr Fauci believes parents should consider the prevalence of COVID-19 infections in children and the real risks of serious illness, long-term effects or death. « I would tell parents [that] although a child is less likely to have a severe result from an infection than an adult, especially an older adult, this is not something common with children, ”said Dr Fauci.
In the United States, about 1.9 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in children aged 5 to 11, including about 8,300 hospitalizations and 100 deaths, according to Dr Fauci. There have also been over 2,000 cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome in American children, « which can really be quite serious, » said Dr. Fauci. The rare but serious (and still poorly understood) syndrome can cause inflammation in various organs and systems of the body, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, digestive system, skin, and eyes, depending on the patient. CDC.
Dr Fauci also touched on another key question parents may ask themselves during his interview: whether children who have already had COVID-19 should still be vaccinated. The additional protective benefit of COVID-19 vaccination in children who have previously been infected cannot yet be demonstrated, as the FDA has just cleared the two-dose mRNA vaccine. But based on the growing data on vaccinated adults, the answer is yes, as SELF has reported.