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Mercy pediatrician weighs in on vaccine trials for kids under 12

Dr. Sharon Vermont says health experts hope the vaccines get approved by the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year.

ST. LOUIS — Both Pfizer and Moderna are testing a vaccine for children under 12.

Mercy Kid's Pediatrician Dr. Sharon Vermont is keeping a close eye on the trials.

"All of us pediatricians are on edge like waiting for this vaccine to be approved because that will help our patients tremendously," Vermont said. 

She's waiting for the trials to get approved, so she can treat her patients under the age of 12 as soon as possible.

"They're on-going right now, and I think that from what I've heard the data is looking good and is safe and effective for kids under 12," Vermont said.

Pfizer broke down their study into three age groups: first with ages 5 to 11, then ages 2 to 5, and then 6 months to 2 years. 

Moderna's two-part, dose-escalation study focuses on ages 6 months to 12 years.

"Not only do they have to do the studies, but then the FDA has to look at those specific studies for kids before they can approve it. That's why it's taking awhile," Vermont said.

Both studies have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration yet. 

Pfizer estimated a September-October timeframe to submit the vaccine for ages 5-11 to the FDA and plan on following with the vaccine for ages six months to 5 years soon after.

"What I've heard as of a few days ago is hopefully by the end of the year, end of 2021, but that doesn't tell us for sure I don't know if that's going to mean October or December 31st.," Vermont said.

Until then, Dr. Vermont urges families to mask up and for the ones who can, to get their shot.

"Masks right now are the only way to keep your kids safe, if they're under 12, and if they're 12 and up, they need to be vaccinated yesterday, and if they weren't vaccinated yesterday, they need to be vaccinated tomorrow," Vermont said.