Vaccinate and celebrate.
A Centers for Disease Control advisory panel approved COVID vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna for children age 5 and under.
The panel unanimously approved both vaccines Saturday. The Food and Drug Administration had signed off on the vaccines Friday. Both vaccines will be available as soon as Monday, provided CDC director Rochelle Walensky approves the shots. She’s expected to do just that later Saturday.
Though COVID usually affects children less than adults, about 480 kids under age 5 have died from the disease, according to federal data. Hospitalizations notably spiked among children during last winter’s omicron wave.
The CDC panel did not recommend one shot over the other.
“Whatever vaccine your health care provider, pediatrician has, that’s what I would give my child,” FDA vaccine honcho Peter Marks said Friday.
The Pfizer vaccine for kids is about one-tenth of the adult dose. It will be available to children between 6 months and 4 years old and requires three shots over the course of three months.
The Moderna vaccine for kids is about one quarter of the adult dose and requires two shots to complete the series. It will be available for kids between 6 months and 5 years old.
“It is worth vaccinating, even though the number of deaths are relatively rare, because these deaths are preventable through vaccination,” CDC panelist Dr. Matthew Daley said.
The Moderna vaccine was about 40% to 50% effective at preventing mild infection in clinical trials. In a limited number of cases, Pfizer’s vaccine was about 80% effective, but the experts said that estimate wasn’t reliable given the small amount of data.
With News Wire Services