In the months since the novel coronavirus entered the United States, researchers have made promising gains in vaccine development. With new information though also comes an influx of uncertainty. While all of the questions you have about kids and a COVID-19 vaccine can't be fully answered yet, expert insight offers a look at what parents can expect. I can't speak for every parent out there, but I know my own mind is swirling with queries for our pediatrician.
Recent reports from Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trial show that an early analysis reveals the vaccine may be up to 90% effective in preventing symptomatic illness. The company plans to apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as the third week in November, according to a Pfizer press release. Additionally, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial results show a 94.5% efficacy rate, and their press release details a plan to submit to the FDA for emergency use authorization in the coming weeks as well.
This timeline points to the possibility of two vaccines being available to distribute before the end of 2020 to the most vulnerable populations. There are multiple versions of a COVID-19 vaccine in the works, but the high efficacy rates shown in trial phases by Moderna and Pfizer mark a promising turn in the fight against COVID-19.
However, the speed at which these vaccines have been developed and tested means that there is still much that researchers and physicians alike do not know about the long-term impacts of a vaccine. Questions also still remain about vaccine manufacturing and distribution.
Although much is still unknown, hope remains that a vaccine could help quell the spread of COVID-19 enough to allow a return to our pre-quarantine lifestyles. To help address some of the concerns parents may have about COVID-19 vaccines and kids, Romper asked experts to weigh in. Despite the uncertainty, it's still important for parents to be informed and have their questions answered.
Dr. Susan V. Lipton, MPH, Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and Chief, Section on Infectious Diseases, Maryland American Academy of Pediatrics
Dr. Bita Nasseri, Los Angeles-based physician
Dr. Niket Sonpal, New York-based internist, gastroenterologist, and adjunct professor at Touro College