The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of USA recommended vaccinations against COVID-19 for children as young as 6 months, allowing nationwide rollout to begin next week.
The measure of CDC it came after a panel of advisers to the institution voted on Saturday to recommend the vaccines COVID-19 for children up to six months.
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“We know that millions of parents and caregivers are eager to vaccinate their young children and, with today’s decision, they can do so.” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said in a statement.
The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday licensed Moderna Inc’s vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years, and the Pfizer–BioNTech for children from six months to 4 years. Pfizer’s vaccine is already licensed for children over 5 years of age.
”This infection kills children and we have the opportunity to prevent that”said Beth Bell, one of the doctors on the panel, after the vote. “Here is an opportunity to prevent a known risk.”
President Joe Biden’s administration plans to roll out the vaccines to the under-5 age groups starting next week.
”Next week, parents will be able to start scheduling appointments at places like pediatricians’ offices, children’s hospitals and pharmacies.Biden said in a statement on Saturday.
While many parents in the United States are eager to get their children vaccinated, it’s unclear how strong the demand for the shots will be. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was licensed for children ages 5 to 11 in October, but so far only about 29% of that group is fully vaccinated, according to federal data.
CVS Health Corp plans to provide vaccines to children older than 18 months, while Rite Aid Corp and Walmart Inc plan to offer these vaccines for children at least 3 years old. Babies are traditionally vaccinated in a doctor’s office.
Public health officials have been pushing for children to be vaccinated before the new school year, hoping vaccines for the age group will help prevent hospitalizations and deaths if cases of COVID-19 increase again.
The COVID-19 it is usually milder in children. Still, since March 2020 it has been the fifth leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 and the fourth leading cause of death in children under the age of one, according to the CDC.
The advisers of CDC they will meet again next week to consider whether to support the use of the Moderna vaccine for children and adolescents ages 6 to 17. There has been some concern about the rate of rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young men from the Moderna vaccine, and advisers are expected to consider those data.