The kids can get the jab

Vaccine approval for 5-11 year olds improves the outlook for a normal holiday season


Illustration by Kira Wood

The Pfizer vaccine is now available for children 5-11. The first kid-sized doses should be available in Oregon in the next few weeks.

By Moth Newman and Kaitlyn Bynum

   Halloween has come and gone but the treats aren’t stopping.

     The Covid vaccine has been out for eight months now for everyone ages 12 and up. However, all children below the age of 12 haven’t been able to get a vaccine putting them at significant risk, that was until now. Pfizer and the CDC(Centers for Disease Control) has reported that cases for kids aged 5-11 using a new version of their vaccine have shown very strong results.

     In the first trial cases of 2,268 kids, a new reduced dose of the Pfizer vaccine was tested and has been found to be completely safe and effective in kids age 5-11. Getting kids vaccinated is the top priority as in the numbers reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics one out of five of every new covid patient is a child and child cases of Covid have risen by 240% since July. Pfizer applied to have the CDC overview their data and was approved to begging shipping vaccines outs. When they applied for adults last year, it took roughly one month for everything to be finalized. This showed to be true for kids vaccine to taking only a month and a half roughly.

     But how do parents feel about their kids being able to get vaccinated? US History teacher Murray Carlisle, a teacher, and parent, hopes he can get his daughter vaccinated as soon as possible. When asked about his feelings on the new vaccines and his daughter’s feelings on being back to school without being fully protected he had this to say. 

     “Mostly I’m just excited about kids being able to get vaccinated,” Carlisle said. “My daughter is more excited just to be back in school, but as I’m sure most parents will tell you, not having full protection is still worrying.”

     Kids 5-11 can now get vaccinated in the United States. It was decided by unanimous vote done by the CDC that the benefits of kids getting vaccinated outweighed the risk. Vaccines have started to be moved and distributed to covid vaccine shelters. Now the only people who cannot get a covid vaccine are those under the age of 5.

     But all of this brings up the question: what took so long? For starters, kids’ bodies work and act differently than adults so a vaccine that works for people above the age of 11 could be dangerous for anyone younger. To fix this they had to find a way to lessen the dose and slightly change the vaccine while having it still work against the virus effectively. After that, the company that made the vaccine has to get permission from the CDC to test the new vaccine in small clinical trials. After waiting for the results, the company then has to apply for an evaluation to see if and when it can be released for public use. This final step in the process can take up to a month or even more. Needless to say, the process is long and complicated.

     But what does this all mean?

     Everyone knows that this year’s holidays will be more like what people are used to compared to last year, but now with the vaccine coming out this month, children that couldn’t enjoy the holidays because of covid should be able to see their families and celebrate while being safe and protected. This is yet another step closer to beating this pandemic and to getting fully back to normal.