Renfrew mother anxious for son to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
RENFREW, ONT. -- Meghan Cross says it has been an anxious wait for her 13-year-old son to get a COVID-19 vaccine. That anxiousness was lift slightly Wednesday with the announcement that Health Canada has approved the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 12 to 15.
"I felt excitement, but also a little bit nervous," says Cross, a 49-year-old mother to three kids. "We’ve been waiting for this, especially for Jacob."
Jacob Howard is her middle child. Howard is a grade seven student at Renfrew Collegiate Institute. He’s like most 13-year-olds; he enjoys playing sports, like road hockey, and hanging out with his friends.
But Howard is unlike most kids his age in the fact that he has a rare condition called ectodermal dysplasia. Essentially it’s a condition that causes him not to sweat and prevents heat regulation, meaning fevers can become life threatening.
"That puts him at high risk and so trying to get the vaccine for myself and his father has been a top priority," says Cross.
"I first thought that I would be happy to get it because then I can go see people who have got the vaccine," says Howard. "But when I get the vaccine, I can probably start seeing my friends again when they get it."
Pfizer has committed to sending more than two million doses per week to Canada until the end of June. Cross is happy this vaccine is the first one approved for her son.
"I’m glad with the kids that it’s going to be the Pfizer vaccine. I’m not sure I would feel the same way if it was some of the others," says Cross. "But it’s just had such good results across the board, so when they say that it is safe for these kids I believe that."
The announcement also means good news for grandparents, who have new hope for seeing their grandchildren again soon.
"I am just thrilled and I hope she gets out tomorrow to get her shot," says Arnprior resident Rick Holock of his teenage granddaughter. "We have really missed not being able to see them except via technology."
But there are also those parents who are hesitant over the approval of Pfizer, and say they won’t be rushing to get a needle into their kid’s arm, like valley resident Danielle Delaney.
"I feel like there maybe there isn’t as many studies done in those younger age brackets," worries Delaney. "With our kids, they don’t really get to have that consent or form those opinions or decisions, so that’s a little scary."
Health Canada has authorized those 12 years of age and older to be given the same dose regimen as adults. The authorization was based on the results of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Phase 3 clinical trial involving 2,260 adolescents aged 12 to 15.
Conducted in the United States, the trial found the vaccine to be 100 per cent effective in children aged 12 to 15, up from the 95 per cent efficacy shown after the second shot in the trials with older age groups.