MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Pfizer has tested the COVID vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 and announced they’re seeking authorization from the FDA to start administering it.
Conway Medical Center, Grand Strand Medical, and Tidelands Health said as soon as the FDA and DHEC gives them the go ahead, they’re ready.
Dr. Jane Kelly, the Assistant State Epidemiologist said Pfizer has tested more than 2,000 12 to 15 year old’s and found 100 percent efficacy against symptomatic disease.
“Symptoms after vaccination like sore arm or feeling achy all over was similar to the older teenage young adult group,” said Dr. Kelly.
When it comes to vaccine hesitancy, Dr. Paul Richardson with Conway Medical Center said he’s seen a decrease in younger people receiving the vaccine. He and DHEC encourages those who are eligible, to get it.
“While we’re awaiting this decision is to continue doing what we’re doing for the most part. The second thing is for parents to strongly consider getting their kids vaccinated,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, the Chief Medical Officer for Conway Medical Center.
“I’m very excited for it to become available to kids and the younger age range especially those who are attending school,” said Dr. Lucretia Carter, a pediatrician with Tidelands Health.
At this time, Dr. Kelly said DHEC is not recommending COVID vaccinations be required for school but encourages young adults to still get the vaccine. She said DHEC is already working with the South Carolina Department of education to set up vaccine clinics in schools.
Dr. Kelly said with younger people receiving the vaccine, it’ll help the state reach herd immunity.
“As we slow community transmission which is at moderate levels in South Carolina as a whole right now, it will slow the virus from circulating. We’ll have fewer people infected, fewer people in the hospital, and fewer serious complications and deaths,” said Dr. Kelly.
The FDA is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 and up next week.
Count on News13 for updates.