The Food and Drug Administration authorized both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus Vaccines for Youngest children on Friday, a relief to parents who have waited 18 months to protect their babies, toddlers and preschoolers since shots first became available.
Regulators followed the recommendation of independent experts on an advisory panel, who voted unanimously on Wednesday in favor of both vaccines. All Americans other than the roughly 20 million children under 5 have had the option of protecting themselves against Covid-19 for months and are eligible for booster shots. Moderna’s two-dose vaccine is for children 6 months through 5 years old, while Pfizer’s three-dose vaccine is for children 6 months through 4 years old
A separate advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began two days of meetings on the matter on Friday. The F.D.A.’s action permits vaccines to be used, but doctors look to the C.D.C.’s advisory committee for specifics on how to use them, and acceptance of the vaccines will depend partly on the strength of the agency’s recommendations. After the panel votes on Saturday, the C.D.C.’s director, Rochelle P. Walensky, will issue her own recommendation, the final step before distribution.
The Biden administration began shipping the vaccines on Friday. But uptake in the coming weeks could be low. Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s studies showed that the Omicron variant of the virus greatly dulled the power of the vaccines to prevent symptomatic infection in young children, just as it did for adults. Pfizer has said that two doses of its vaccine were only about 28 percent effective in preventing disease, while three doses were 80 percent effective. But that 80 percent estimate was based on only 10 cases in a subset of 1,678 trial participants Moderna’s vaccine was about 51 percent effective in children 6 months to 2 years old and 37 percent effective in children 2 through 5 Federal agencies are now studying whether both vaccines need to be updated for all age groups to counter the rapidly evolving virus. The C.D.C.’s panelists spent considerable time on Friday trying to pinpoint how the Omicron variants have altered the risks to children. They noted that parents vaccinate their children for many other diseases with comparable, or even lower, risks of death.
Source: This news is originally published by nytimes
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