The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee on Saturday approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for young children, the final step before CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky issues her final approval.
The unanimous recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Immunization Practices Advisory Committee came after the Food and Drug Administration approved the injection. Friday.
Shortly before Saturday’s vote — one for Moderna and a separate one for Pfizer — several panelists celebrated the milestone, noting that parents will soon have two powerful tools to protect their young children from Covid after more than two years of living with the virus.
Committee member Dr. Sarah Long, a pediatrician at St. Christopher Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
While young children are generally less likely than adults to experience the most severe consequences of the virus, some suffer. Among children aged 6 months to 4 years, there have been more than 2 million confirmed cases of Covid, more than 20,000 hospitalizations and more than 200 deaths, according to the CDC . data. Covid is the fifth most common cause of death among children under 5 years old.
“This is an opportunity, one doesn’t often get, to be involved in preventing the death of young children,” said panel member Dr. Beth Bell, a clinical professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington. “The death of a child is an incredible tragedy, and we know that this disease kills children.”
Walensky is expected to endorse the recommendation soon, a move that would allow vaccinations to begin.
The vaccination campaign may not begin in earnest until Tuesday, when pediatricians’ offices will likely be closed on Sunday, and may also be closed Monday in observance of the federal holiday in Juneteenth. The syringes will also be available at some pharmacies and group vaccination sites.
every country except for Florida It placed pre-orders for the kid-sized shots, which began shipping to distribution centers on Friday, after obtaining permission from the Food and Drug Administration.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines consist of Various doses and dosing schedules.
Pfizer is given as a three-shot regimen, with the first two doses given three weeks apart, followed by a third injection at least eight weeks after the second. The dose of Moderna is two doses, four weeks apart.
Pfizer’s vaccine is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for children 6 months to 4 years old, while Moderna’s vaccine is approved for children 6 months to 5 years old.
Vaccine shipments will come with all the supplies health care providers need to administer vaccines to young children, White House He said this month, including the smaller needles.
In order to differentiate between doses for young children and older age groups, vials must contain Different colored hats and stickers: Navy blue cover with purple Moderne label and burgundy cover and Pfizer label.
There are approximately 18 million children under the age of five in the United States. Federal government Manufacture 10 million doses of the vaccine are available to states, tribes and territories, although millions of additional doses are expected to be shipped in the coming weeks, according to the White House.
Because a large number of children have contracted Covid infection, some of them Parents may not see the need for vaccination. CDC scientists note that vaccination provides more Protection from re-injury From previous infections, especially as more variants emerge. Even for children who contracted Covid during an omicron wave, there is a higher risk of infection again than for the newer strains, BA 4 and BSc. 5.
“Previous infection does not confer immunity that would make one comfortable enough not to receive a vaccination,” said panel member Dr Oliver Brooks, chief medical officer of Watts HealthCare Corporation.
Children under the age of five can receive the vaccination at pediatricians’ offices, more than 100 children’s hospitals, and select pharmacies and public health clinics across the United States, according to the White House. The Biden administration said 85% of children under the age of 5 live within 5 miles of the vaccination site.
During Saturday’s meeting, federal health officials said they expect more Vaccine waste of the children’s vaccination campaign. That’s because the vaccine comes in 10 dose vials that must be used within 12 hours, they said.