Newsletter from the Coastal Health District (October 29, 2021)

The following information is courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health Coastal Health District

 

Weekly Update for 10.29.21
Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccines: Next Steps

Parents may soon have a new tool for protecting children as young as 5 years old from COVID-19. Earlier this week, an advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended authorization of a kid-sized dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.

Compared with the Pfizer vaccine for teens and adults, this pediatric vaccine will be a smaller dose and given with a smaller needle. The lower dose also seems to produce fewer and milder side effects in kids, while still creating a strong immune response.

There are still several steps that must be taken before kids aged 5-11 can get vaccinated. Two federal agencies must weigh in before any vaccinations can begin - the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

One way to look at the two agency roles is this - the FDA controls the "what," determining which products get approved based on the results of clinical trials. Then the CDC controls the "who," determining exactly which segment of the population should receive the product and on what timeline.

Here is how the approval process works: 

  1. First, an FDA panel must vote to recommend emergency use authorization of the pediatric vaccine. This occurred on Tuesday, October 26.
  2. Next, FDA regulators can authorize the vaccine for emergency use if they agree with the panel - as they typically do. This usually occurs within days of the panel's vote.
  3. Then, a panel of outside experts for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will consider the authorization and make a recommendation. This panel is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 2nd and 3rd. The panel could vote to endorse the vaccine for all children aged 5-11, for example, or could choose to endorse vaccination only for specific subgroups, like children with underlying health concerns.
  4. Then, the CDC director will make an official recommendation. She can agree with the panel's vote or change it, but no vaccinations can be given until the CDC director sets the vaccine policy.

While it's widely expected that the pediatric vaccine will be recommended for kids soon - maybe as early as next week - it won't start going into arms right away. It will take some time to ship the vaccine from Pfizer to health facilities and doctor's offices, and for those healthcare providers to update inventory databases and immunization forms.

Check our website at covid19.gachd.org for the latest information about pediatric vaccination in the Coastal Health District. That's where we'll post announcements about our vaccine rollout. You may also want to check with your child's pediatrician to see what plans they have for vaccinating patients. 

 

A Report on Efficacy of Adolescent Vaccination

A study of patients in 19 pediatric hospitals from June–September 2021 underscores the effectiveness of Pfizer's vaccine in protecting adolescents from COVID-19 hospitalization.

According to the study, 97% of persons aged 12–18 years who were hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated. Researchers concluded that receiving 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided a high level of protection against COVID-19 hospitalization among children and adolescents aged 12–18 years in a real-world evaluation.

Click here to read more about the study.

 

Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in the Coastal Health District

The Coastal Health District and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) offer mobile vaccination clinics throughout our area. The clinics are open to anyone age 12 and older, and there is no cost for vaccine.

Click the button below to view upcoming events and pre-register for an appointment. Walk ups are also welcome.

More Info about Mobile Vaccine Clinics
 
 

Your vaccine story

"I believe that it is vitally important for everyone in our community to get vaccinated because in the fight against this virus, everyone in our community has to do his or her part to help eliminate it. Getting vaccinated is a vital part of the process of us coming together as a community and defeating this virus and seeing things return to a sense of normalcy."

-Pastor Antoine Shaw, Full Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, Hinesville

Tell us your vaccine story!

If you've received the COVID-19 vaccine, why was that the right choice for you? We'd like to hear your COVID-19 vaccine story. We may share it here and at YourVaccineStory.com to help inform and inspire others. 

Click the button below and tell us Your Vaccine Story! 

Share Your Vaccine Story
 

Dr. Carthon on COVID-19 Vaccines

Dr. Bradley Carthon with Emory Healthcare speaks about how his experience as a healthcare provider helped inform his decision to get vaccinated. 
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