Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Covid Vaccines For Children 6 Months And Above approved by the US

Covid Vaccines For Children 6 Months And Above approved by the US

On Friday, The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for using Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines in the youngest children, the final age group awaiting immunization in most countries.

The agency authorized three doses of Pfizer's shots for those between six months and four years old and Moderna's two-dose vaccine for children aged six months to five years.

Food and Drug Administration chief Robert Califf said in a statement.

"Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to six months of age,"

"We expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of Covid-19, such as hospitalization and death."

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) must now also recommend the vaccines before they are used. A final green light will be given after an advisory committee of experts meeting expected to be held shortly.

But the US government has said that as soon as the FDA decision is made, 10 million covid doses could immediately be sent around the country, followed by millions more in subsequent weeks.

Covid Vaccines For Children 6 Months And Above approved by the US 1unsplash image

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Both vaccines are based on RNA messenger, which delivers genetic code for the coronavirus spike protein to human cells that then grow on their surface, training the immune system to be ready to fight covid. The technology is now the leading Covid vaccinations platform.

Both vaccines were tested in trials on thousands of children. They were found to cause similar mild side effects as in older age groups and triggered equivalent levels of antibodies.

Efficacy against infection was much higher for Pfizer, with the company placing it at around 80 percent, compared to Moderna's estimates of 51 percent for children aged six months to two years old and 37 percent for those aged two to five years.

But the Pfizer figure is based on very few cases and is thus considered preliminary. It also takes three doses to achieve its protection, with the third shot given eight weeks after the second and three weeks after the first.

Moderna's vaccine should protect against severe disease after two doses, given four weeks apart. The company is studying adding a booster to improve efficacy levels against mild disease.

However, Moderna's decision to go with a higher dose is associated with higher levels of fevers in reaction to the vaccine compared to Pfizer.

Some 20 million children aged four years and under are in the United States.

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