Parents have split reaction to FDA’s child vaccine recommendation, health experts push benefits
DELMARVA – “It makes sense. You immunize children then you’re going to prevent future adult infections or spreading of a very catastrophic illness that we’ve seen the last two years,” said TidalHealth Peninsula Regional’s Dr. Chris Snyder
That’s local health officials’ reaction as an FDA advisory committee announced its recommendation of a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
“Children develop an immune response using their t-cells and b-cells and all those wonderful immune related issues. In adults, we don’t really grow those cells well anymore. You start that off in childhood which protects you through adulthood,” said Dr. Snyder
Health experts argue that the vaccine benefits outweigh the risks.
“97% of your doctors in your medical community right here are vaccinated. I don’t know about you but that’s pretty telling,” said Dr. Snyder. “Back in the ’60s, you really didn’t have a choice. You had to get vaccinated for Polio because it was a fatal virus. Today, there’s a lot more media around this and a lot more choice around this.”
In a world of social media, we took to Facebook to ask parents if they would allow their child to get the shot if approved for this age group.
Although there were mixed responses, the majority said they would not. One parent says she’s shocked at how many said no. “I would’ve thought that they would be happy that something was coming down to protect our children. Especially now that they’re back in school and every day you’re seeing a new case,” said one parent.
She tells me a vaccination for her child means protection for her whole family.
“For myself, I just finished chemotherapy. I really can’t afford to be sick. So even if they bring something home to me it’s kind of detrimental to my health as well,” said one parent.
Despite what side you’re on, health experts say the goal is to save as many lives as possible. “We’re all getting older, so we have to prevent future transmission cause this virus is probably not going away time soon,” said Dr. Snyder
That parent I spoke with also says her child has a compromised immune system, so it’s even more of an urgent matter to get in her arms as quickly as possible.
Next, the FDA will decide whether to authorize the vaccine followed by the CDC advisory committee meeting to give its recommendation.