Pfizer is one step closer to requesting emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
The drugmaker announced Tuesday it formally submitted initial trial data involving the vaccine and younger children to the Food and Drug Administration.
For mother Kristen Resendez the announcement was good news.
Her 6-year-old son Jack lives with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic life-threatening condition. Contracting a simple cold can lead to a hospital stay.
The threat of COVID-19 restricted their family's outings and activities for the last year and a half.
“It means everything,” Resendez said. “I’m so excited. I’m going to do everything in my power for Jack to be one of the first to get [the vaccine] once it’s FDA approved for his age group.”
Resendez said she is determined for Jack to see and do as much as possible. A vaccine will give them the freedom to explore again, she said.
“He lives with a terminal condition so giving him this opportunity to give him another line of protection – I’m absolutely for it,” Resendez said. “That means we can go to Disney World, Disney Land, New York City or Chicago and do all his bucket list items.”
Pediatricians are eager to offer the shot to younger kids following a recent spike in cases among children.
“The more people we have protected the faster we get out of this,” pediatrician Dr. Marcial Oquendo said.
Oquendo said the data released from Pfizer showed promising results in the vaccine's efficacy among children.
He believes emergency use authorization by the FDA for children age 5 to 11 will be approved by late October.
“The more people we have protected the faster we get out of this,” he said.
The Resendez family is planning a trip to Disney World in January, hopeful Jack and more adults and kids will be protected by then.
“I hope people can really think about putting themselves in other people’s shoes,” Resendez said. “Had I not had this life maybe I would feel different, but I’m sure we all have a friend who has a special needs family or somebody who’s been ill in their family.”
“One day it might happen to you and you’ll feel the same way I do today and want everybody to come together and move forward together so we can get back to our normal lives," Resendez said.