Omaha Hospital Providing Information for Review of COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Oct. 11, 2021, midnight ·

Photo of Children's Omaha and their campus
Children's Omaha was selected among hospitals around the world for a comprehensive study into Pfizer's vaccine on kids ages 11 and under. (Photo courtesy of Children's Omaha)

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An Omaha hospital is collecting information on vaccines for chilren ages 11 and under.

Omaha Children’s Hospital is working with Pfizer to better understand COVID-19 vaccines in this age group.

The study, being led by Pediatrician in Chief Dr. Kari Simonsen of Children’s Omaha, began in the spring of this year. It will analyze 50 children from across the region over two years, looking at whether they develop symptoms of an active COVID-19 infection.

Dr. Kari Simonsen headshot photo
Dr. Kari Simonsen is the Pediatrician in Chief for Omaha Children's Hospital and is leading the COVID-19 vaccination study on the age group five to 11, which is sponsored by Pfizer. (Photo courtesy of UNMC)

Dr. Simonsen said information on effectiveness and side effects on these age groups will be continually sent to Pfizer. She said the preliminary results look good.

“I think that one of the most important things to remember about vaccines is they're one of the safest and most effective public health interventions that we have on this planet,” Dr. Simonsen said, “maybe second only to clean water, in the number of lives that they have saved, and they work, and that’s the most important thing I think for parents to remember.”

Pfizer has submitted current data to the Food and Drug Administration from hospital studies around the world on thousands of children who received its vaccine. They’ll be asking for emergency approval for ages five to 11. An FDA advisory panel will release its decision on October 26th. Also at that meeting, Dr. Simonsen said the FDA will review data on booster shot information for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

Dr. Simonsen said the hospital recommends COVID-19 vaccines for emergency approval for those ages 12-15.

As it stands now, Pfizer’s vaccine and booster shot is fully approved for ages 16 and older, while Moderna and Johnson and Johnson shots have emergency approval for that age group. Pfizer’s vaccine has emergency approval for ages 12 to 15.