Pfizer vaccine for children 12 and older is good for city’s fight to end pandemic, Mayor says
On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer and Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville’s Chief Health Strategist, provided an update on COVID-19 in Louisville and were joined by two local pediatricians to discuss the anticipated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make the Pfizer vaccine eligible for 12- to 15-year-olds.
On Monday, the FDA expanded authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to include children ages 12 to 15. Mayor Fischer called the announcement good news in the city’s fight to end the pandemic.
“Even though children haven’t been the hardest hit demographic, they’re not immune by any means,” the Mayor said. “They can spread the disease to more vulnerable people in other demographics. Anything that can safely slow or stop the spread of the virus is a good thing.”
Dr. Moyer said the quickest way to get everyone back to the things they love, is by getting as many people vaccinated as possible, including adolescents.
“So many of our youth missed out on sports, proms, graduations, and other milestones,” Dr. Moyer said. “If your child is fully vaccinated and is exposed to someone who is positive, they won’t have to miss the big game or prom due to being quarantined. The CDC has said fully vaccinated people don’t have to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID19.”
Now that children aged 12 and older are eligible for the vaccine, Dr. Moyer encouraged parents to get their children preregistered.
Local pediatricians reassure parents that vaccine is safe for teens
Local pediatricians and members of Louisville's Vaccine Distribution Task Force, Dr. Beverly Gaines, president and CEO of Dr. Beverly Gaines and Associates, and Dr. Pat Purcell, member of the board of directors for the Greater Louisville Medical Society joined Mayor Fischer to encourage parents to make appointments as soon as possible to get their adolescents vaccinated against COVID.
Dr. Purcell acknowledged concerns from parents about the timing of the vaccine with regards to how long it’s been available. She said in Pfizer’s Phase 3 trial of 2,260 adolescents, 18 cases of Covid-19 were identified in the placebo group with none observed in the vaccinated group. Additionally, Dr. Purcell said parents need to recognize that the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is determined by an ongoing verification process.
“There’s VAERS, where people across the nation can put in a complaint or mention something, they are uncomfortable with,” Dr. Purcell said. “The CDC and FDA are constantly monitoring any side effects anyone has including children.”
Dr. Gaines, who is also the chair of Louisville's NAACP Health and Wellness Committee, said in her conversations with parents she will provide reassurance pointing to data of Pfizer’s 100% efficacy in 12- to 15-year-olds vaccinated in its trials. Speaking further, Dr. Gaines said it’s important to get the younger populations vaccinated because they can have asymptomatic infections.
“Parents want to protect their children from the infection but also keep them from spreading it to grandparents or other relatives,” she said. “Data shows that patients do trust their healthcare providers. I always rely on my relationship with my patients. We will reassure our patients that the vaccine is safe and effective.”
Parents and legal guardians interested in pre-registration of their 12- to 15-year-olds for the vaccine can sign up online via Norton Healthcare. They can also find Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine providers near them by visiting Vaccines.gov
Here are the key COVID-19 data metrics for the week of May 10, 2021:
- There were 666 new cases over the previous week, 1 new death reported
- Hospitalization data:
- 82 patients currently hospitalized have COVID-19, compared to 114 last week.
- 28 patients in ICU with COVID-19 as of May 11, compared to 23 the week prior.
- 17 COVID-19 patients on ventilators as of May 11, compared to 16 last week.
- 689,010 total vaccine doses given in Metro Louisville since December.
- 46.8% of Louisville residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and 37.3% have completed the vaccine series
Dr. Moyer said the majority of cases identified last week reported attending events such as weddings, funerals, family and friend gatherings, sporting events, proms, musical performances and travel.
“This is a really good reminder that if you’re not fully vaccinated yet, to please get tested before attending any of these events or traveling,” Dr. Moyer said.
First Responder Data
Currently, 15 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 9 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation
- 2 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone who tested positive
- 4 are off with symptoms, pending test results
Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:
- 568 positive tests
- 559 have fully recovered and returned to duty
Metro Corrections inmate data:
Total Tested: 7,764
Total Positive: 417
Total Recovered: 416
Total currently under medical isolation: 0
Total tests pending: 0
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View this week’s COVID-19 briefing with city officials here. The city’s COVID-19 data dashboard, a complete list of COVID-19 testing sites, vaccine information, prevention and contact tracing can be found at www.louisville.gov/covid19. The LOU HEALTH COVID19 Helpline is also available: 502- 912-8598