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Latest information on vaccines for teens from Dr. Gale Burstein

Posted at 3:47 PM, May 18, 2021

Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County commissioner of health says as a pediatrician, she and her pediatric colleagues are so excited that they will be able to protect their adolescent and young adult patients with the COVID-19 vaccine and prevent some significant and potentially serious illness with COVID-19 for them and potentially their families.

Last week, the FDA, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health all embraced COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer for teenagers as young as 12 years old. Dr. Burstein says the reason why Pfizer has been approved for teens and not the others yet is because Pfizer was the first to complete its data and submit that to the FDA. Dr. Burstein says Pfizer was the first out of the gate, however, Moderna, is breathing down their back and they believe in a few weeks they will also submit data to the FDA, to ask for approval, emergency use authorization to vaccinate kids 12 and up. They are hoping in another month they will be able to have two different brands of COVID vaccines to vaccinate kids 12 and up.

She goes on to say, the clock is ticking for kids to go to prom and this opens a lot of doors for a lot of kids and this tool can keep them in school. So, if there are cases of COVID in school and they are identified as a close contact and they are fully vaccinated, they are staying in class; they are not going home for quarantine. If they are on a youth sports team and there is a player on their team who has COVID-19 they are staying in the game; they are staying on the team. They don’t have to take a pause from practice. Dr. Burstein says this is the way we are going to open up schools, open up sports and open up our economy and make it safer for every body to hang out and see each other.

If you want to get your kid vaccinated what is the best way to do it? Dr. Gales Burstein says first, many of our primary care pediatricians and other primary care providers are offering the Pfizer vaccine from their offices. She goes on to say they are working very closely with many of our community providers that care for adolescences to transfer them doses of Pfizer vaccines that were able to store obtain large doses form the New York State Health Department. The are also working with many of their school districts to offer vaccine clinics in the schools. You can go to the Erie County Health website and go to the vaccine registration site and it has a list of all the clinics that they have scheduled. Also, she believes some of the pharmacies are going to be able to vaccinate teenagers. Dr. Burstein says she understands it’s a new vaccine and parents might have questions about how it works with your kids. She says to talk to your pediatrician. They know so much about the COVID-19 vaccine and they know so much about your child’s healthcare and they are a great source of creditable, valuable information.

For more information visit erie.gov/health by clicking here.

You can also call 716-858-7690