What’s next for COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest US children?

Parents hoping to get their youngest children vaccinated against COVID-19 got some encouraging news Monday.

Pfizer said three small doses of its vaccine provide strong protection for youth under the age of 5, according to preliminary data. This news comes a month after Moderna announced this ask the regulators OK, its two cans for the youngest kids.

There are still a few steps to go before the recordings are available. Health officials and their expert panels must first decide they are safe enough and provide sufficient protection to authorize them.

FDA REVIEW

The US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine chief, Dr. Peter Marks has promised that the agency will “move quickly without sacrificing our standards” to evaluate large doses of Pfizer and Moderna.

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The FDA has tentatively set a June 15 date for its scientific advisers to publicly review the two companies’ vaccines. After the consultants weigh in, the FDA decides whether to approve the shot.

Moderna is seeking approval for two low-dose vaccines for children under the age of 6, while Pfizer hopes to offer three extra-low doses to children under the age of 5 — differences stemming from how each company has researched its vaccine. Currently, the US recommends vaccinations for everyone ages 5 and older, and Pfizer is the only option for these children. Moderna is currently only used in adults in the United States

CDC REVIEW

If any of the vaccines are approved for infants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have to recommend whether all babies, toddlers and preschoolers should get them or just those at high risk of serious illness.

The CDC would convene its own advisory panel to consider the recommendation before issuing its official guidance.

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ROLL OUT

The Biden administration has said vaccinations will be rolled out quickly and most young children are expected to be vaccinated at pediatric offices or health clinics. However, it is not clear what the demand for vaccination of the youngest children will be. Pfizer shots for 5- to 11-year-olds opened in November, but only about 30% of that age group got the recommended first two doses.

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https://www.local10.com/health/2022/05/23/whats-next-for-covid-19-vaccines-for-youngest-us-children/ What’s next for COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest US children?

Sarah Y. Kim

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