UW Health experts: Vaccinating children is essential part of ending pandemic

MADISON, Wis. — Getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 is an essential part of ending the ongoing pandemic, according to UW Health experts.

Early data on using vaccines for those under the age of 18 is promising, but there are still a lot of unknowns.

To date, Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one that has been approved in the U.S. for use on children ages 16 and 17. The company applied to the Food and Drug Administration late last week for emergency use approval to use the vaccine in children as young as 12. Moderna is currently running pediatric clinical trials for its vaccine.

UW Health infectious diseases and vaccine expert Dr. Jim Conway said the process for vaccine approval for children may take months.

“When the time is right, it will be vital to vaccinate children if we hope to provide broad immunity for Americans against this dangerous virus,” Conway said. “However, children are not small adults and we must make sure these vaccines are safe for them.”

Parents with children ages 16 and 17 are encouraged to get their children vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.