Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for St. Louis kids ages 5 to 11 may be available in weeks


ST. LOUIS – A big announcement many parents and pediatricians have been waiting to hear. Pfizer announced Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works in children ages 5 to 11.

Pediatricians at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital say the Pfizer trials are showing very promising results and parents are realizing some peace of mind.

“Our level of anxiety is very high,” said Jessica Shafrin of University City, who has a 6-year-old son.

Shafrin and her husband are elated to hear the Pfizer vaccine may be available for children ages 5 to 11 around Halloween.

“I was thrilled and, more than that, my 6-year-old was elated. He was excited. His response to the idea that he can play basketball and he can go traveling, he can see his grandparents and give hugs to them,” she said.

The pharmaceutical giant said its COVID vaccine was safe and generated a “robust” antibody response in children ages 5 to 11.

“To me, that means that it looks like they’re seeing very similar antibody response to what they’ve seen in teenagers and older adults, which has been really strong,” said Dr. Rachel Charney, emergency preparedness director at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. “It’s been excellent so far coming out of all these studies.”

Charney is pleased with the data from the Pfizer trials and is confident the vaccine will be safe and effective.

“I think that all of the companies have been rigorous in their evaluation of safety so far,” she said. “We know how important this work is as well as to the rest of our community. It’s important to get this right.”

Charney says the medical community is hearing that the COVID vaccine for children under five may be approved around the winter holidays.

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