Vaccines may be available for children by this summer says local pediatrician


BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Now that COVID-19 vaccinations are available for adults and in some cases mid-teens, officials warn parents to continue to take precautions for young children’s safety.

Although vaccines are not yet available to those younger than 16, a Bay County pediatrician said soon that could change.

“Children might not be affected as much, but they are the spreaders,” said Baldwin Pediatrics Pediatrician Rubina Azam. “They could be the silent spreaders in the community.”

Azam said we are still facing a pandemic so it is important to keep your guard up. Even if you are vaccinated, young children are not, but that could change.

“Moderna is asking for emergency use authorization for children 12 to 15 and we are hoping pretty soon we are going to get that authorization,” said Azam.

With vaccine trials going on for young children, Azam expects to see shots become available this summer.

“High-risk kids, those with underlying asthma, and I will be honest, asthma is very common in younger kids and in teenagers,” she said. “These kids are at high risk for developing complications from COVID. So yes, they will be at the top of the list.”

Children with asthma, congenital heart disease and other chronic conditions, could be eligible to receive a shot.

“Once we have vaccinated children, I feel like it is going to be a big step towards controlling the pandemic,” said Azam.

Until studies give the go-ahead, Azam said parents should still be cautious.

“If parents are vaccinated and they want to travel, and of course they want to take kids with them, and kids are not vaccinated, again, we are just going to advise them to make sure kids are wearing masks all the time and parents are wearing masks,” she said.

If you are already vaccinated, Azam said to continue to use CDC safety precautions.

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