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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Happy weekend, and apologies for not updating here this week. Letters for advice have been much slower to come in lately, maybe because my posting became more inconsistent during this past eighteen months as my kids were home full-time and I’ve had to supervise them (or maybe people don’t have as many relationship problems?!). But for better or for worse, my kids will be returning to school soon, and I’ll have more time and energy again to write, so please feel free to reach out if you’ve been holding off.

If you follow my Insta stories, you already know I have very mixed feelings about sending my unvaccinated kids back to school with Delta raging. I won’t get into it here, but suffice to say, these final weeks of summer break feel different this year than they normally do. If you’re a parent of school-aged kids, especially those too young for a Covid vaccine, I suspect you know what I mean. Let’s hope this is the last year of disruption and this time next August, that we’ll truly be celebrating back-to-school season and a new era in which we all feel safe and secure after a particularly draining – and long! – period of tumult. That’s my wish, anyway.

It’s been a really heavy week in the world. I hope that wherever you are, you’re able to find some moments of calm and joy this weekend – some solace in the company of people you care about or maybe time in a place you love.

8 comments… add one
  • beccadira August 21, 2021, 1:07 pm

    With the Pfizer Vaccine receiving full FDA approval imminently, you can ask your kids’ pediatrician if they will give permission for your kids to receive the vaccine off-label!

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    • Dear Wendy August 22, 2021, 6:37 am

      I’ve never heard of that. Can you explain what that means.

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      • Fyodor August 22, 2021, 9:12 am

        So I’ve looked into this a bit. The following is my informed non-professional understanding.

        Right now under EUA the vaccine can only be dispensed according to the terms of the EUA. If a medical product is only authorized for certain ages it cannot be dispensed to younger people.

        Once it’s an approved product, it has recommended uses and indications but doctors have much more latitude to give it according to their medical judgment. For example, there are doctors who will prescribe dutasteride (prostate drug) off label for hair loss. My understanding is that certain erectile dysfunction drugs are used for headaches and circulatory issues sometimes. It isn’t clear how much doctors will be willing to do this for COVID vaccines. My suspicion is that you will have more luck with doctors outside of organized health systems.

        One way that this may come up is getting booster shots for vulnerable people before the eight months that will be recommended. I plan on looking into this and seeing if I can get a booster for my Dad (who is 73 and takes no precautions) and even myself. I am happy to report on my results.

        As for kids, my very limited research suggests that doctors are going to be very reluctant to risk the liability that comes with giving kids a product without some formal agency approval. It may be even more complicated because people will need to break out the smaller dose for kids. That being said, who knows who it will play out? There are lists of telehealth doctors that prescribe off label treatments for COVID and it may be that there will be those willing to do this for child vaccination.

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      • Dear Wendy August 22, 2021, 9:38 am

        Thanks for this info. I did some quick research too and came to a similar conclusion. Will have to wait for EUA for kids, which is, let’s hope, just weeks away. ???

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      • Fyodor August 22, 2021, 9:49 am

        my understanding is that Pfizer has not yet completed its trial and has stated that it plans to submit its EUA application in late September. It’s look six weeks from application to approve the EUA for 12-15. However the rumors seem to be that they will spend more time on the under 12 application and approval is expected midwinter.

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      • Fyodor August 22, 2021, 10:12 am

        I should also add that any decisions about getting a booster for myself will depend on the general state of vaccine demand and supply. If demand is consuming supply I won’t do anything to jump in line. But if there are plenty of extra doses I will seriously explore getting a booster before my eight month date.

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    • Fyodor August 22, 2021, 9:59 am

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  • allathian August 23, 2021, 12:33 am

    Hopefully the full FDA approval will also mean a similarly quick approval by the equivalent EU authority.

    Fingers crossed for a federal decision to allow employers to enforce a vaccination mandate, regardless of who’s in power at the state level.

    Religious exceptions are all very well, but the health of other people is more important. Certainly all employees who work in the front line with Covid patients should have the vaccine. If they can’t because they’re immunosuppressed or something, they have absolutely no business working with such sick people anyway. I do know that it has been difficult for many healtcare employees to get vaccinated, but I sure hope this problem at least has been solved by now.

    No doubt parents would be happier sending their kids to school if they knew that all the adults who work with their kids have been vaccinated…

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