The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first Covid-19 vaccines for children under the age of 5.
On Friday morning, the FDA granted emergency use for Moderna and Pfizer injections for children 6 months and older.
“Many parents, caregivers and doctors have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children, and this action will help protect children up to 6 months of age,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf.
“As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that younger children’s vaccines will provide protection against the most severe consequences of Covid-19, such as hospitalization and death.”
The vaccines still need to be approved by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before they can be given to the younger age group. CDC immunization advisors are scheduled to vote on the matter on Saturday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has already signed the vaccine recommendation.
Before Friday, Pfizer’s vaccine was approved for people ages 5 and older and people 16 and older. Moderna’s jab was adult-only.
Pfizer’s vaccine is now approved for children aged 6 months to 4 years, while Moderna’s vaccine is approved for children aged 6 months to 17 years. This means that around 17 million children under the age of 5 are eligible for a coronavirus vaccination.
The FDA’s decision on Friday followed the unanimous support of the agency’s independent advisors, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
During the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, its director Dr. Peter Marks: “It’s a small milestone to lower the age range for these vaccines while we work on it.”
Vaccinations for children under the age of 5 could begin next week, according to the White House.
Uptake of coronavirus vaccinations among youth has been slow, and some public health experts believe parents will not take their children to get the vaccine even if it is approved.
“Those entrusted with the care of children can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these Covid-19 vaccines and that the agency has thoroughly evaluated the data,” Cardiff said on Friday.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/17/covid-vaccine-fda-authorizes-pfizer-and-moderna-for-children-under-5-16847116/ Covid vaccine: FDA approves Pfizer and Moderna for children under 5