By: Follow South Jersey Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. — The announcement by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on the efficacy of its vaccine for ages 5 to 11 is a “positive step” to ending the world pandemic according to Camden County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr.
“Today’s announcement is another positive step in getting our community closer to a post pandemic world by giving us the ability to inoculate more friends and neighbors from COVID-19,” Cappelli said in a prepared statement. “We know that we only have a couple of strong tools to delivering us back to a way of life we still long for and the vaccine is by far and away the most important tool in that fight.”
On Monday, September 20, Pfizer and BioNTech announced results from a Phase 2/3 trial “showing a favorable safety profile and robust neutralizing antibody responses in children 5 to 11 years of age using a two-dose regimen administered 21 days apart,” according to Pfizer’s website. This is a smaller dose than that used for people 12 and older.
Cappelli further stated that the need for vaccines for younger children is becoming more necessary with schools now in session.
“At this point we have seen 260 students throughout the county who have contracted the virus,” he said. “The need for a vaccine in this age range and population is critical for our community and while none of these known cases have been tracked back to the classroom, sports and other activities have been key transmission spots that we have tracked.”
Cappelli also notes that younger county residents are becoming the primary transmitters of the virus to their unvaccinated peers.
“We have seen more than 30% of our new cases come from school age children, being under the age of 18,” Cappelli stated. “The new use of the Pfizer vaccine will now allow us, when emergency use is provided by the FDA, to protect most of those kids and students from COVID-19.”
The Commissioner Director also stated that the vaccine for the younger population may be made available within weeks.
“At this point, if the data supports the announcement, we are only weeks away from making this lifesaving vaccine available to all of our students throughout the county and again getting us one step closer to being on the other side of this virus,” Cappelli said. “That said, the unvaccinated adult or child are still the most likely to get COVID and transmit, so if you are an adult that still has not gotten the vaccine for some unknown reason, please get it now.”
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