Vermont pediatricians hopeful after Pfizer requests EUA for children ages 5 to 11

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It will be a few more weeks until the FDA decides whether to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for the country’s youngest age band, but some Vermont parents, children, and pediatricians are hopeful.

Dr. William Raszka is the Director of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Service at Vermont Children’s Hospital. He says the nation is taking another important step in the fight against Covid-19. 

“Not quite two years ago, we were just describing this virus, and we now have the opportunity or we may have the opportunity to immunize children 5 to 11,” said Raszka.

Raszka says he is eager to see efforts made to include young children in the race to get vaccinated.  While a lot has happened in 18 months, he emphasizes no shortcuts were taken.  

“The vaccine product has demonstrated to be safe. Hundreds of millions of doses in people of different ages, and I strongly encourage them to get vaccinated,” said Raszka.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, of the 34,923 Covid cases, children ages zero to 19 have made up more than 20 percent of these infections. 

One nine-year-old from South Burlington believes the vaccine “really works.” Noah Hollander is a fourth grader at Rick Marcotte Central School. He says a vaccine would make all the difference for him and his classmates. 

“You come to school not just for academics, but for also for social, like hanging out with your friends. It’s really hard with Covid,” said Hollander.

Noah’s mother Shannon Hogan, who is also a pediatrician, says vaccination is the best way to prevent transmission and get back to normal. 

“They’ve done longer studies in this population, and again I trust in the science and I believe that it will be safe,” said Hogan.

If the FDA extends EUA to children 5 to 11, some Vermonters won’t hesitate to get in line. 

“It will be a really good thing for people my age,” said Hollander.

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