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Head of Maine CDC awaiting further data on impact of vaccinating children against COVID-19

Dr. Shah says he anticipates a key component of the discussion within the FDA and U.S. CDC will be the extent to which vaccinating children will help keep others safe.
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has increased nearly 50% in the last two weeks.

That has the head of the Maine CDC along with other federal healthcare officials thinking about the next group eligible for the vaccine - kids ages 5 to 11.

Dr. Nirav Shah says right now, it’s too early to tell whether the impact of vaccinating children will be enough to halt the spread of the virus.

However, he says vaccinating another 80,000 people in the state could at least help bend the curve.

“In many respects, this is one of the key questions in respect to pediatric vaccinations. The early data that have been submitted by Pfizer suggests that the vaccine will raise or boost or increase the antibody rates in children age five to 11, and we thus extrapolate from that that they will be protected themselves on an individual level from getting COVID-19 and being hospitalized.”

Shah says he anticipates a key component of the discussion within the FDA and U.S. CDC will be the extent to which vaccinating children will help keep others safe.

Shah says to predict what will happen on a population level, you have to get into the guts of mathematical models that the FDA and CDC are looking into.

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