The FDA has approved the Pfizer application for a Covid-19 vaccine to be given to children from six months to five years of age.
Children younger than five were previously unable to receive a Covid-19 vaccination, but that is no longer the case. On June 2, 2022, Pfizer’s submission of an application to the FDA for the three-dose vaccine, as well as the emergency use application, was approved. In addition, the FDA also approved the Moderna vaccine to be distributed to children aged six months to six years.
The FDA held an informational meeting on June 14 and 15 to discuss both the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 to 17 and the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children younger than six. According to WebMD, Moderna claims that the vaccine is “51% effective against infections with symptoms for children ages 6 months to 2 years and 37% effective for ages 2 to 5.”
After these informational meetings were held, the FDA accepted both applications for the vaccines, and began administering doses to children on June 21. The CDC was also asked to weigh in on the vaccine, and unanimously voted to allow it for these young children. There were initially 10 million doses available once the decision was made to allow it, with states being able to make orders as early as June 3. So far, America is the only country in the world that has allowed children in this age group to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
The CDC and FDA both ensure that this step will bring the United States closer to tackling Covid-19 entirely, though the effectiveness rates of the vaccines for this age group hardly reach over 50%. CBS News stated that in a CDC survey, “around a third of parents say they plan to get their child in the age group vaccinated.” Florida was the only jurisdiction that did not submit an early order to receive the vaccines initially available.
This looks like a step in the right direction, but why is America volunteering to be the first country to take it? Allowing children this young to be vaccinated poses just as many risks as it does benefits. Only time will tell the effectiveness of this move.
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