Epidemiologist answers questions about children’s vaccinations against the new coronavirus
Vaccination of children in the United States aged 5 to 11 years is expected to begin in November, said the country’s chief infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci.
Meanwhile, many parents who have not questioned the need to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19 are concerned about the prospect of vaccinating their children. We talked about this problem with an expert in the field of infectious diseases, Aileen Marty. For more than 40 years, she has been engaged in clinical and research work in the field of tropical and infectious diseases. Dr. Marty is an advisor to the World Health Organization, and the subject of her research is outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19.
“Pfizer’s childhood vaccination for ages 5 to 11 years is a third of the adult dose, Moderna for children from 6 to 11 years is half of the initial dose of Moderna,” Aileen Marty says. “Both studies demonstrate the absence of any danger; moreover, they showed that the level of antibodies in children as a result of vaccination is higher than in people over 12 years old who received higher doses of the vaccine.”
“The FDA, during the vaccine research, asked companies to double the number of children compared to the planned number to identify any rare problems,” the researcher continues. – And in particular, they wanted to establish whether there might be problems with myocarditis. The companies did exactly what they were asked to do. They doubled the number of children for the study. And the data obtained is fantastic.”
Dr. Marty reminds: children are constantly surrounded by adults. Vaccination of a child affects his entire environment at once, and this is a whole community of adults: family, friends, educators, and teachers. When vaccinating a child, adults around him also receive protection, who, unlike children, do not always easily tolerate the disease.
“The child, as well as other people with whom he (the child) interacts, are protected, which is very important because, thank God, children, as a rule, have a milder form of the disease than adults. However, there have been hundreds of deaths among children due to the outbreak in the U.S., and thousands of children worldwide have died due to COVID-19. A significant part of children who have had coronavirus have long-term symptoms of the disease. A tiny percentage of children have the multisystem inflammatory syndrome, Kawasaki syndrome, which can be fatal. The child must be hospitalized and treated immediately. All this can be prevented by vaccinating children. It is important for parents to understand this,” the doctor explains.
Aileen Marty compares the existing vaccinations given to children and emphasizes that coronavirus vaccines are just as safe and effective.
“These RNA vaccines have a higher level of safety and efficacy than almost any other vaccine we have ever created. Parents need to understand that these COVID-19 vaccines were not created in one year. We already had a prototype of the vaccine, which we created back in 2015-2016. Due to the Zika virus outbreak, we have selected some viruses that we feared could become a serious problem. And one of the viruses that were chosen as a prototype was the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, which is a beta coronavirus, just like SARS. And it has a very similar structure, so this is an RNA messenger vaccine that was patented for this particular virus back in 2017. And all we did was slightly change the nucleic acids in this particular vaccine, using all the technologies we have, for example, to harden the spike and so on, to then create a vaccine against COVID-19,” says Dr. Aileen Marty.