CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The rapid spread of the Delta variant continues to impact our communities, as more school districts report new cases of COVID-19 every day. The vaccine is currently only available for those ages 12 and older, but this could be changing very soon.
When Nikki Schrank is not planning lessons for her classroom, she dedicates her time to her three sons. She became a breakthrough COVID-19 case last month and grew worried for her kids. Her two oldest sons tested positive, and she was concerned about their symptoms since they could not yet be vaccinated.
“They did have some discomfort, and any mother doesn’t want her kids to be hurting or sick at all,” Schrank said. “My husband and I have talked about it and they will be getting the vaccine.”
Her hopes of having her sons vaccinated may soon become a reality.
Local doctors say Pfizer is close to submitting data from pediatric clinical trials to the food and drug administration. Pfizer began testing children for their COVID-19 vaccine in March.
“They carefully review every side effect that occurred during the trial for the children and then they see, did the vaccine prevent the cases?” says Dr. Jaime Fergie of Driscoll Children’s Hospital.
The vaccine for school-age children is made from the same formula as the vaccine for adults. The main difference is it is a smaller dose.
After the FDA reviews the data, doctors expect them to grant Pfizer emergency use authorization. This will make the vaccine available for children from ages 5 to 11.
Parents like Nikki are eager for this new level of defense against the virus .“To me, that’s like the last step towards finally going back to some sense of normalcy after all of these years,” she said.
Fergie said he would not be surprised if the children’s vaccine was available as early as next month.