United States to Begin Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines to Young Children

The United States will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11 on Wednesday, and approximately 28 million school-age children are now eligible for vaccines that provide protection against the disease.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer Inc / BioNTech SE injection for wide use in that age group after a panel of outside advisers voted in favor of it.

While about 58% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, children under the age of 12 have not yet been eligible to receive the vaccines. The Delta variant of the virus has led to thousands of children being hospitalized and accounts for 25% of cases in the US.

The vaccine, which has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing symptomatic infection in children, offers an avenue for fewer quarantines or school closings and more freedom.

“There has been great expectation from parents around the authorization of vaccines for our children,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Monday.

“I deeply understand the urgency and concern to provide the best protection for our children against the virus.”

The United States government will begin shipping 15 million COVID-19 vaccines for children this week to distribution centers across the country, and the pediatric program is expected to be up and running next week, House officials said. White.

Once vaccines are given, rather than mass vaccination centers, implementation will depend on pediatrician offices, children’s hospitals and pharmacies, the White House said.

The federal government has purchased 50 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for launch and has enough supply for 28 million eligible children, US officials said this week.

The Pfizer injection for younger children contains a lower dose of 10 micrograms of vaccine than the 30 micrograms given to those 12 years of age and older.

Following the CDC’s decision, parents can visit the vaccine.gov website to find locations that offer the vaccine for children, said White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients.

A vial of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen as medical personnel are vaccinated at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel (credit: REUTERS / AMIR COHEN / FILE PHOTO)

The US Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 on Friday.

So far, Pfizer injection has only been licensed for use in the United States for children under 12 years of age. Some other countries, including China, are already vaccinating children.

Moderna Inc said Sunday it would delay submitting its application for emergency use authorization for its vaccine for children ages 6 to 11, while the FDA reviews safety data in relation to its application for children ages 12 to 17. .

States with the highest rates of adult vaccination against COVID-19 are also preparing greater efforts to vaccinate children than states where vacillation remains strong, which could widen gaps in protection across the country, they said. public health officials and experts.

Still, it is unclear how the parents will react. Many people who have been vaccinated are more divided on whether or not to vaccinate their own younger children, given that severe COVID-19 is much less common for them.

While the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has been used in more than 400 million people, there is no long-term data yet for its use in adults or children.

The states of California, New York and Washington, all led by Democratic governors who have promoted vaccination and the use of masks during the pandemic, are establishing mobile sites and high-volume vaccination clinics for children, spokesmen for health departments said. public of those states.

California has also mandated that school-age children receive the COVID-19 vaccine once their age group is eligible, a move that is being considered in New York and Washington.

Republican state governors have largely resisted measures such as mask mandates or vaccine requirements in workplaces, schools, and public places. More than a dozen states, including Florida and Texas, have tried to stop schools from imposing those requirements.

“At best, everyone … did their best to vaccinate the age group because it will protect their younger siblings, their older relatives and people who just don’t respond well to these vaccines,” said Pamela Zeitlin. , chairman of the department of pediatrics at National Jewish Health, a Colorado hospital.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *