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US CDC recommends Covid vaccines for children under 5


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended Covid-19 vaccines for children under 5, clearing the way for the US to begin inoculating millions of children who have not yet been eligible.

Other countries often look to the CDC vaccine decisions for guidance, and the US will be the first to vaccinate its youngest children with BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, starting at six months old.

The decision will make the jabs available to nearly 20mn additional children in the US. 

“We have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against Covid-19. We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said Saturday.

The US has already begun shipping millions of doses to doctor’s offices, children’s hospitals and pharmacies and some providers may begin administering the shots as early as Monday.

Walensky’s endorsement of the shot for America’s youngest children comes after the FDA cleared the jabs earlier this week and a CDC advisory panel backed them earlier Saturday.

Most children do not get seriously ill from Covid-19 but a small percentage can get severely sick and be hospitalised or, in rare instances, die. 

Moderna’s vaccine for children six months to five years old consists of two 25 microgram doses administered four weeks apart, while BioNTech/Pfizer’s vaccine for children is three shots of 3 micrograms each, with the first two shots given three weeks apart and the third shot at least two months later.

Pfizer and BioNTech said their three-dose regimen for children six months to five years old was found to be 80 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and generated a robust immune response. Moderna’s was shown to be 51 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic infection in children 6 months to 2 years old and 37 per cent effective in children 2 to 5 years old.



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