Pediatricians 'waiting with bated breath' for Pfizer 5-11 vaccine approval

Posted at 10:08 PM, Oct 11, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Parents and pediatricians across the country are counting down the days until October 26, when an advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration will meet to discuss Pfizer's request for emergency use authorization for its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11.

"We're all kind of waiting with bated breath and we're all excited for the potential to get at least all of our school-aged children vaccinated and a little bit back to normal," said Dr. Caitlynn Iddings, a physician at Pediatric and Adolescent Associates in Lexington.

Dr. Iddings, who has three kids of her own, said she is impressed by Pfizer's data, which last month showed that the vaccine produced a "robust" antibody response based on data collected in a trial that included more than 2,000 children.

She explained that the timeline for this age group took longer because scientists and researchers had to determine the appropriate dosage.

"They can compare across the different doses," she said. "[And ask] 'Okay, what's effective? Which one had the least amount of side effects?' And then you've got to find that sweet spot."

The "sweet spot", she explained, is a low enough dosage that is both effective in generating immunity and has the least amount of side effects possible.

Pfizer's two-dose regimen is 10 micrograms, which is about a third of the dosage used for teens and adults.

Dr. Iddings said she expects the advisory committee to closely scrutinize the data when it meets on October 26. If ultimately approved by the FDA, she anticipates the vaccine to be available for children 5-11 as soon as early November.

She is eager to get her own kids vaccinated--for their safety and to cut down on the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

"[My 8-year-old daughter] is ready to be able to get it and to not have to worry about every time she's exposed having to quarantine," she said. "And to hopefully just get a little bit more back to normal with life."