Mimi Allen has two daughters, 14 and 10. She is raising them alone. They are her world. So while the Phoenix financial adviser doesn’t usually go for rule-breaking, she recently decided to slip into a local pharmacy and get her younger daughter a Pfizer, approved only for those 12 and older.
Allen told her immunocompromised daughter the plan, fibbed about her child’s age at the counter, and walked out relieved.
“I’m a mother who needs to keep her children safe, and if the governor here had mandated masks in, I might have thought differently,” said Allen, 55, who declined to give her daughters’ names out of concern for any backlash. “I’m an ethical person. But after my daughters, my concern is me. If they get it and pass it on, and I’m hospitalized or dead, my kids are in trouble.”
Allen’s plight is shared by millions of Americans who, asin session, ponder the best way to keep their vaccine-ineligible young ones safe as the delta variant continues its rampage and some state leaders resist in-school mask mandates.
Having a child under 12 receives the vaccine raises medical and ethical questions and can bring justifications ranging from understandable to specious. Among the former: Children with underlying conditions deserve a shot people declining the vaccine, one might as well use a dose, although doses are still needed for at-risk adult holdouts.. The latter: With many
When asked their opinion, doctors and ethicists gavea unanimous verdict: Though the temptation is understandable, getting a child the COVID-19 vaccine introduces risks that may outweigh the benefits.
“I know there’s a lot of anxiety out there, but it doesn’t justify going outside the lines,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, an infectious diseases specialist atColorado in Aurora. “The No. 1 issue with any for the patient.”
O’Leary is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Their CEO recently sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to speed the approval of vaccines for those under 12, leveragingtrials.
Mostsuch approval could come as early as this fall but as late as early winter.
The FDA is in a race against the clock on a few fronts. Regarding adults, some Americans have said they will get a shot only when the agency, versus just emergency, approval of the vaccines. The month.
And for kids, delaying even emergency approval – which could happen if the FDA decides to add children to its current trial – raises the stakes as hospitals increasingly see younger.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, last week saw the most significant leap since thecases, about 72,000 from 39,000 the previous week. Doctors in hard-hit states such as Kentucky and Texas report that some children are being put on ventilators.