CDC Panel Recommends Covid Vaccines for Children under Five

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Advisers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid vaccines for children ages six months to five years.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously endorsed approving Covid vaccines for young children, currently the only age group for which a Covid vaccine is unavailable.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky must give final approval to the move, and was expected to do on Saturday, according to the Washington Post. Covid vaccines may be available for children under age 5 as early as Tuesday, the New York Times reported.

The Food and Drug Administration approved both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines for young children on Friday.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for young children is administered in three doses, while the Moderna vaccine is administered in two doses. While Pfizer said its vaccine is 80 percent effective after three doses in young children, the estimate was based on just ten cases of Covid among a larger trial group.

Moderna, meanwhile, said its vaccine was 51 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid for children ages six months to 2 years. That efficacy decreases to 37 percent for children ages 2-5 years.

“As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement on Friday.

Children ages 5-12 are already authorized to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine.

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