The move comes after the CDC’s vaccine advisors voted unanimously on Saturday to recommend Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccines for children under 6 months of age.
“Together, led by science, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. We know that millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated , and with today’s decision, they can,” Valensky said in a statement. “I encourage parents and caregivers to talk to their doctor, nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of vaccination and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
In some places, vaccination may not start until Tuesday.
President Joe Biden on Saturday praised the CDC’s decision to recommend vaccines.
“As our nation today marks an important step in the fight against the virus, almost every American is now eligible for the protections that the COVID-19 vaccines provide,” Biden said in a written statement. For, it is a day of relief and celebration.”
Valensky signed on to give two doses of Moderna’s vaccine to children aged six months to five years, and three doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to children aged six months to four years. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) noted Saturday that if a Pfizer vaccine is given, the vaccine series should consist of three doses.
Dr. Kevin Chatham-Stephens, Pediatric Vaccine Planning and Implementation Lead with CDC’s Vaccine Task Force, said at the ACIP meeting.
“Parents and caregivers can ask the child’s pediatrician or family practice physician or local health department, pharmacy, etcetera if they have a vaccine, understanding that not every clinic or pharmacy gets their vaccine on Mondays.” will get.”
Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines Now Authorized for Young Children
On Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration expanded emergency use authorizations for Moderna’s vaccines, including those for children 6 months to 17 years old, and Pfizer/BioNTech for children 6 months to 4 years old.
CDC’s vaccine advisors will discuss the use of Moderna Vaccine in older children aged 6 to 17 at their meeting on June 23.
Nearly 17 million children under the age of 5 are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr Matthew Daly said at Friday’s ACIP meeting that while COVID-19 is the leading cause of infectious disease-related death in people under the age of 19, the data shows those deaths are preventable through vaccination.
“Covid-19 is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases for people aged 0 to 19. And COVID-19 is the seventh most common of all causes of death for people aged 0 to 19,” Daly, The senior investigator, along with the Kaiser Permanente Health Research Institute in Colorado, told the committee.
“As of March 2022, unvaccinated people 5 years of age and older had a 10-fold risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to those vaccinated with at least the primary series,” Daly said, “in other words, the data.” Provide “real world evidence that most deaths from COVID-19 are preventable through vaccination.”
At Saturday’s ACIP meeting, Dr. Veronica McNeely said she was “stunned” by the effects of COVID-19 on children.
“I’m impressed by these numbers: 2 million cases, 20,000 hospitalizations and over 200 deaths. And I’m also concerned that the potential for respiratory virus in children at this age is really low for seriousness and mother- Fathers sometimes have a vague understanding of the long-term consequences, including MIS-C,” McNally said.
Will the youngest children be vaccinated?
Many public health experts are concerned that even though COVID-19 vaccines are now authorized for younger age groups, parents of these children may not be able to take their children to receive them.
“The hard work only continues,” after recommending the vaccine, Daly said, citing the importance of communicating to parents “how important these vaccines are to protecting children’s lives.”
There is already a slow progression of COVID-19 vaccines in children.
“It is very important to have a vaccine option for the youngest children; however, we have seen a relatively small increase in COVID vaccines in children 5 to 12 years old, and so my concern is that this may be extended to the youngest children.” The 5-year lifespan may even be shorter, Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said Wednesday.
Baroch, who is not involved in the decisions of the FDA or CDC, helped develop and study the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
He said there were “striking” differences in how many adults are fully vaccinated, compared to children and teens.
- 60% teens 12 to 17
- 64% of adults 18 to 24
- 67% of adults 25 to 39
- 75% adults 40 to 49
- 82% of adults 50 to 64
- 94% of adults 65 to 74
- 88% of adults 75 and older
“We are planning and preparing for the rollout of pediatric vaccines. There is, of course, a lot of work to be done to advance this vaccine. Some of the surveys and surveys that have gone to the public have indicated Parents are considering giving their children these vaccines over time,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of the National Association of County and City Health Officers.
“I think for some people the more the pandemic is in the rearview mirror – or the less compelled they will be to do so – and so we have a bigger public health education campaign.” Freeman said. “In addition, health departments at the local level will be looking at their community landscape to understand how many providers, pediatricians and pharmacies have actually signed up to deliver the vaccine.”
Pediatrics groups support ACIP’s recommendation
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) both issued statements on Saturday in support of a vote to recommend COVID-19 vaccines in children under six months of age.
Speaking at the CDC meeting on Saturday, Dr. Bonnie Maldonado, chairman of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, said it would be important to focus equally on distribution.
“As of June 8, 23 million children aged five to 17 years have received two doses of the COVID vaccine. But another 26 million in this age group have not yet received any. Our work is cut out for us. We must all work together to reduce inequalities and remove barriers to vaccination in every community so that all children and families can benefit from the protection of these vaccines.”
Patsy Stinchfield with NAPNAP also spoke in support of the recommendation, but asked ACIP to emphasize the importance of vaccination in this age group.
“I was a little disappointed after the VRBPAC decision made some headlines, it is up to the parent. It could be misunderstood to consider this vaccine optional in young children. We ask parents of a child. Say no. With a heart defect, ‘It’s up to you whether your child has open heart surgery.’ We say, ‘Your child needs open heart surgery,'” she said.
“We don’t get out of the pandemic with ‘it-up-to-you’-type strategies,” she said.
‘The benefits clearly outweigh the risks’
Under FDA authorization, Moderna Vaccine can be given as a two-dose primary series, at 25 micrograms each, to infants and children 6 months to 5 years of age. For older children 6 to 11 years of age, the dosage is 50 micrograms each.
The Pfizer/BioEntech vaccine can now be given as a three-dose primary series, each dose at 3 micrograms, for use in infants and children 6 months to 4 years of age.
FDA vaccine adviser Dr. Paul Offit said on Wednesday that children who receive the Pfizer vaccine must complete a three-dose series to get adequate protection.
“‘Benefit over risk’ is something I can support, but I have some concerns about this vaccine,” said Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Janet Lee of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who also serves on the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, agreed.
“Three doses would definitely benefit. I am very concerned that many of these children will not receive a third dose,” she said. “My concern is that you have to get three doses to really get what you need.”
According to clinical trial data, common side effects of both vaccines include injection site pain, headache, fever, chills, and fatigue. Vaccines appeared to elicit a similar immune response in children, as seen in adults.
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee determined that the benefits of both vaccines outweigh the risks and noted that the vaccines were “well tolerated” among children who received them in clinical trials. Is.
“The benefits clearly seem to outweigh the risks, especially for young children who may be in kindergarten or collective child care,” said committee member Ovetta Fuller, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Discussion about Moderna Vaccine.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and child deaths is much higher than influenza-related deaths and hospitalizations.
“Still, during the Omicron wave, there was a relatively high rate of hospitalization during this period,” he said. “The hospitalization rate is actually quite troubling, and if we compare it to a terrible influenza season, it’s worse.”
Marx said the number of deaths of children 4 and younger during the first two years of the pandemic “compared significantly with what we have seen with influenza in the past.”
“We are dealing with an issue where I think we have to be careful that we don’t get slain by the number of child deaths because of the large number of child deaths here. Every life is important,” he said. Vaccine-preventable deaths are ones we would like to try to do something about.”
He said that the COVID-19 vaccine is an intervention similar to the influenza vaccine, which is widely and routinely used and accepted to prevent deaths at all ages.
Nation World News’s Virginia Langmid, Brenda Goodman and Sam Fossum contributed to this report.