Vaccines against COVID-19 should be added to the list of recommended vaccines for children and adults, a panel of experts from the United States determined on Thursday.
The panel’s unanimous decision does not take effect immediately, and COVID-19 vaccines are already recommended for nearly all Americans. Instead, it will include vaccines in the annual updated official list of vaccines that doctors must give to their patients, along with polio, measles and hepatitis.
Decisions from expert panels are almost always made by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then sent to doctors as part of government advice on how to prevent disease.
State and local officials often review lists when making decisions about vaccination requirements for school attendance, but local officials do not always adopt all of the recommendations. Influenza and human papillomavirus vaccines, for example, are not required in many schools.
The vaccines placed on the lists are usually fully licensed, but this has not yet been the case for all COVID-19 vaccines in all age groups.
COVID-19 vaccines were initially approved under emergency authorization measures beginning in late 2020. Over time, the government has licensed several vaccines, but full approval for the dosage has yet to be issued. Boosters or vaccines for children under 12 years old. However, since the vaccines have already been recommended under emergency authorization for Americans over the age of 6 months, the decision doesn’t make a real difference, according to federal officials.
A few days ago, the same panel of experts voted unanimously to add COVID-19 vaccines to a program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who could not otherwise be vaccinated. It is in preparation for the day the federal government stops paying for all COVID-19 vaccines, as it has been doing.