Mid-Michigan doctor: authorizing vaccines for teens is a positive sign

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 10:51 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -

By next week Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be authorized by the FDA for children ages 12 to 15 years old.

This comes just one month after the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for those 16 and up.

Flint area physician Dr. Bobby Mukkamala says that he was happy to hear about this news.

“Now that the science supports that. It’s just a whole other segment of people that we can avoid getting sick, and in this particular population,” he said.

On Monday a federal official says that the agency was expected to expand its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine by early next week or even sooner.

Dr. Mukkamala who’s also the former president of the Michigan State Medical Society says if the younger population is vaccinated, it can help the state get to herd immunity much faster.

“This is just one step closer to getting us to that a place where so many of us have antibodies, hopefully not from getting sick with [an] infection, but instead antibodies because of the virus that now the virus can’t find a host to live in and populate in therefore, protecting us by getting us to herd immunity, much faster.”

Pfizer and Dr. Mukkamala say kids should have similar side effects to the vaccine as young adults.

“Their immune system is very robust. And so they will likely mount some immune reaction. And what I would, what I would coach a kid about what they’re going to experience is that that is just a sign that the vaccine is working, they’re not getting infected from the virus, [and] they’re just developing an immune reaction.”

Dr. Mukkamala is encouraging parents to do their research, but reassures that the risk of the vaccination is very low.

“There’s a database to look up every single reaction that people have reported out of the 200 some million, and that and the consequences of having COVID are much worse than the consequences of the vaccine,” he said.

Moderna is also expected to share results for its own study soon.

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