Pfizer COVID vaccines for 5 to 11-year-olds moving forward as flu shots are encouraged

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — COVID-19 booster vaccines and flu shots will both be important this fall to keep hospital beds open. Pfizer is about to move forward with trial data of the COVID vaccine for kids.

Pfizer’s chief executive says the drugmaker plans to submit late-stage trial data to the FDA within days. That could make the vaccine more widely available soon.

News 8 has reported that Yale Pfizer vaccine trials by Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu on children five through 11-years-old showed no safety concerns. The dose for kids is one-third the strength of the current vaccine dose.

RELATED: New Yale study shows promise with COVID vaccine in kids under 12; new info on booster shots for adults

“It provides the same amount of immune response as the full dose does with adults,” says Dr. Richard Martinello, Yale School of Medicine Associate Professor.

Dr. Martinello says the fact that the FDA has already approved the Pfizer vaccine for adults will expedite their review for children. He gives the biggest reason why getting kids vaccinated will be so important. The ages of hospital patients.

“Right now many of the people who we’re seeing now with COVID are, in fact, children. I think we’ve been doing well so far in terms of safety in the classroom but we are seeing some activity of COVID in this age group.”

And although doctors did not see a typical flu season last year, they are really stressing the need for people to get their seasonal flu shots. We asked Dr. Martinello if there was a concern there won’t be enough hospital beds?

“Absolutely. Each year we see in the wintertime a substantial number of beds in children’s hospitals in addition to adult hospitals being taken up by those who are sick with the flu or other respiratory illnesses. Right now our hospitals are essentially full across Connecticut.”

Dr. Martinello says some of those are surgeries people put off last year due to the pandemic. He says you can get a COVID booster and flu shot at the same time, in different arms, or space them out if that makes you feel more comfortable.

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