(AUDIO) Washington University doctor discusses COVID-19 in kids, vaccine-hesitant Missourians

by | Aug 25, 2021 | Health / Medicine, News, Show Me Today

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. This is the first coronavirus vaccine to receive full review by the U.S. regulator.

As the delta variant continues to target mainly unvaccinated people, about 44% of Missourians are completely vaccinated.

Kaiser Family Foundation polling released in June shows about 30% of unvaccinated Americans say they would be more likely to get a vaccine if full FDA approval is given.

Dr. Bill Powderly, co-director of infectious diseases at Washington University in St. Louis, tells Missourinet the vaccine has been given to millions of people.

“They are remarkably safe. The group that I think where we can have the quickest success, is actually the group who are hesitant because they are worried that this was done too quickly, that the vaccines aren’t safe. The important message there is the science behind these vaccines was in development for many years. The pace and the speed was not a function of cutting corners but a function of actually being incredibly efficient because the government did everything in parallel rather than sequentially,” says Powderly.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine remains under the FDA’s review, but its approval is expected soon.

Meanwhile, classes are underway for many schools across the country. Due to rising coronavirus infection levels, some schools have already been forced to switch to online learning.

Powderly says getting vaccinated will help to protect the community, including younger children who don’t qualify for the vaccination.

“Because there are many, many more children who are not vaccinated, we are starting to see an increase in numbers. Now, the vulnerability is still older adults. But, we are seeing children who are sick. We are seeing children who are sick enough to need ventilation. And unfortunately, there have been a number of deaths in children. It isn’t an overwhelming number. It’s still a very small percentage of the overall number of children who are infected with this virus. But, just because there are more children being infected, you are seeing more cases. While the majority of children are just fine, if you are the parents of one of those children who ends up on a ventilator in the hospital, it doesn’t matter what is happening to the other 99% of kids. It’s what is happening to your child is what really counts,” says Powderly.

To hear the interview, on Missourinet’s Show Me Today program, click below.

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