St. Catharines immunologist happy to see vaccine for the 5-and-under kids

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Published July 18, 2022 at 1:10 pm

Having a child under five himself, Brock University Associate Professor of Immunology Adam MacNeil is happy with the recent Health Canada approval of a COVID vaccine for infants and preschoolers. (Photo: Brock University)

Brock University Associate Professor of Immunology Adam MacNeil was thrilled by the recent Health Canada approval of a COVID vaccine for infants and preschoolers.

Beyond being an immunologist, MacNeil is also the parent of a child under the under of five.

“As a parent of an under-five-year-old myself, and someone who has dedicated significant time to studying immunity at its most fundamental level, I will absolutely be vaccinating my child,” MacNeil said.

Health Canada announced July 14 that the Moderna vaccine has been approved for children between six months and five years old.

At one-quarter the size of the standard adult dose, Moderna’s latest vaccine takes children’s smaller bodies into account, “with the lower dose being optimized to ensure a safe and effective immune response,” MacNeil said.

“The bottom line is that independent scientific review of the evidence on vaccine efficacy has demonstrated that the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risks and that the immune response is similar to that seen in those 18 to 25 years old,” he said.

MacNeil noted that polio, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, smallpox and other pathogens have been completely or nearly wiped out thanks to routine childhood vaccination schedules.

Like many other viruses, COVID-19 infection may also have long-term effects that aren’t fully understood yet, he added.

“These aren’t dice you want to roll,” MacNeil said. “You want to catch this as few times as you can. Vaccines will help with that and protecting our youngest and most vulnerable is a big step toward minimizing the transmission chain with the tools we have available to us.”

 

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