U.S. regulators on Friday authorized the first shots of COVID-19 for infants and preschool children, paving the way for vaccinations to begin next week.
Actions taken by the Food and Drug Administration in compliance with unanimous recommendation of the advisory board for injections from Moderna and Pfizer. That means U.S. children under the age of 5 — about 18 million teenagers — are eligible for the vaccine, about a year and a half after the first vaccine was made available in the US to adults, who those most affected by the pandemic.
The FDA also approved Moderna’s vaccine for school-age children and adolescents. The previous Pfizer photos were the only ones for that age group.
One step further: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccine use and its vaccine advisors will discuss shots for the youngest children on Friday and vote on Wednesday. Seven. The final signer will come from CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Walensky said her staff worked over the June 13 federal holiday “because we understand how urgent this is for parents.” America”.
She said child deaths from COVID-19 are higher than what is normally seen from the flu every year.
“So I really think we need to protect young children, as well as protect everyone with vaccines, and especially protect the elderly,” she said.
For weeks, the Biden administration has been preparing to roll out vaccines. States, tribes, community health centers and pharmacies have pre-ordered millions of doses. The FDA’s emergency use authorization allows manufacturers to begin shipping vaccines nationwide. Vaccination can start as early as Monday or Tuesday.
Some parents have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to protect their young children.
Although young children don’t usually get sick from COVID-19 like older children and adults do, their hospitalizations have increased over time. Omicron wave and FDA advisors have determined that the benefits from vaccination outweigh the minimal risks. Studies from Moderna and Pfizer show that side effects, including fever and fatigue, are mostly mild.
The two brands use the same technology but with differences.
The Pfizer vaccine given to children under 5 years of age is one-tenth the adult dose. Three shots are needed: the first two three weeks apart and the last at least two months later.
Moderna is two injections, one-quarter of an adult dose, given about 4 weeks apart for children under 6 years of age.
This vaccine is for children younger than 6 months of age. Moderna next plans to study injections for babies under 3 months of age. Pfizer has not yet finalized a plan to vaccinate younger children. Dozens of countries, including China, have vaccinated children under the age of 5.
Beth Ebel, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle, said the full-sized vaccine would be especially welcomed by US parents with children in daycare, where outbreaks could lead to serious health problems. parents have to quit their jobs, adding to the financial strain.
“A lot of people will be happy and a lot of grandparents will be happy too, because we missed out on kids growing up when you couldn’t see them,” Ebel said.
AP Medical Writers Laura Ungar and Carla K. Johnson contributed.
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