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Epidemiologist: Child COVID immunizations will go a long way in shutting down the virus

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 3:31 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. saw another step toward vaccine approval for kids Tuesday as an FDA panel voted to endorse the Pfizer shots for children ages 5 to 11.

Federal regulators are expected to make a final ruling in the coming days.

And in the meantime, the state Department of Health is already gearing up for a rollout, ordering nearly 42,000 doses in anticipation of full federal approval.

More than 100 schools have also signed up to be vaccination sites. If the immunizations receive approval, kids will need parental consent.

Epidemiologist DeWolfe Miller says child immunizations will go a long way in shutting down the virus.

“The amount of suffering that we have prevented with vaccines far and away outweighs the amount of suffering that we’d prevent by treatment because it’s too late now,” Miller said.

“We want to do it and prevent it. That’s the most rational way to proceed.”

Officials say the child doses will be about a third of the ones administered to adults and studies show they are 91% effective at preventing infections.

Statewide, 71% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Miller is hoping the rollout for children gets a big response

“Here in Hawaii, it was just amazing how effective the vaccine was, but it was the unvaccinated that really put the impact on our hospital infrastructure, our healthcare infrastructure,” Miller added.

“I don’t want to see that happen again.”

While the FDA has granted its approval, shots won’t begin across the state until the Centers For Disease Control gives the green light and that is expected by sometime next week.

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