The CDC announces COVID-19 vaccines for children

Children ages 5 to 11 are now able to start receiving COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyOvernight Health Care – Supreme Court signals skepticism over Texas law 70% of American adults are fully vaccinated, 80% partially: The White House White House: The Child Vaccine Program Will Be Fully Operational November 8 MORE late Tuesday officially signed a recommendation from agency advisors.

Extending vaccine eligibility to children under the age of 12 has been an important goal for public health officials and is eagerly awaited by many paediatricians and families. The way to end the pandemic is to vaccinate as many people as possible, and an estimated 28 million children are now eligible.

Earlier Tuesday, the agency’s advisory committee on vaccination practices voted unanimously, 14-0 in favor of the recommendation.

When advisers began considering Tuesday, Walensky said Vaccination of younger children is important to protect them from COVID-19 and to help the school return to normal.

The Food and Drug Administration has already approved the vaccine for children in that age group; now that Walensky has signed up, vaccinations can begin.

“Today, we have reached a turning point in our fight against COVID-19: the approval of a safe, effective vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years.” President BidenJoe BidenBiden Administration Aiming for Methane Emissions McConnell Blows Up Potential Payments to Separate Migrant Families Poll: 50 Percent of Republicans Do Not Think Their Voice Will Be Exactly MORE said in a statement following the CDC’s announcement. “It will enable parents to end months of anxiety worries about their children, and reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others. It is a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus.”

Some pharmacists and pediatricians will be able to start as early as Wednesday, but the process of vaccinating children will be different than for adults, so shots are not necessarily available right away.

The vaccine will be administered in two doses of 10 micrograms at three-week intervals, which is one-third of the amount given to persons over 12 years of age. To distinguish, the small doses will come in different packages and are administered using child-specific needles.

So with the smaller dose, a different formulation in different packaging with different needles, the process of packing and sending it out to different places takes time.

While parents should be able to find appointments on the federal Vaccines.gov website later this week, coronavirus coordinator at the White House Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsOvernight Health Care – Supreme Court signals skepticism over Texas law 70% of American adults are fully vaccinated, 80% partially: The White House White House: The Child Vaccine Program Will Be Fully Operational November 8 MORE said the program will be fully operational by November 8th.

Pfizer said its clinical trials showed that the vaccine provides nearly 91 percent protection against symptomatic disease among the 5 to 11 age group. The company hopes that the smaller dose will reduce any potential side effects.

Data presented to the CDC panel showed that the risk of myocarditis, a rare condition of the heart that has been found in some people who have received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, is even more rare in children.

The condition is most common among young and young adult men. Pfizer’s clinical trials found no cases of myocarditis among younger children, and according to CDC researchers, the risk of a COVID-19 infection is far worse for a child’s heart than any possible problems that could arise from being vaccinated.

Still, according to the latest survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 27 percent of parents with children between the ages of 5 and 11 said they would have their children vaccinated “immediately.”

Recent data show that children become infected and transmit the virus as easily as adults, although half of them show no symptoms and they are less likely to be seriously ill. According to the CDC, vaccination of children is expected to reduce transmission by an estimated 8 percent or 600,000 cases in March next year.

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