Advisory boards working in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved the use of the Pfizer jab for five to 11-year olds, outlining that the benefits outweigh the potential risks posed to this age demographic. Although the decision now awaits formal approval from the FDA and CDC as a whole, it is expected that both organisations will confirm the original verdict, meaning that 28 million U.S. schoolchildren will soon be eligible for the vaccine. BBC NEWS has the story.
Following the FDA independent advisory committee’s green light on Tuesday, the CDC is expected to follow suit on November 2nd, meaning jabs for five-year olds could begin as soon as a day later.
The Pfizer vaccine is already approved for American adults and adolescents, but it has not yet been fully approved for most school-aged children.
Among those between five and 11 years-old, there have been about 1.8 million Covid cases confirmed in the US, according to the CDC. Fewer than 200 have died, and most of those had underlying medical conditions.
Some medical experts say that, given the persistence of the Delta variant and the return to in-person schooling, vaccinating children is a crucial next step in fighting the pandemic.
“Parents need to understand the urgency of vaccination because the pandemic is not over”, said Dr. James Versalovic, pathologist in chief at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH)…
Vaccine hesitancy remains a challenge for US medical authorities. Uptake in the adult population has stalled below 60% over the past several months.
Only a third of parents in a poll last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation said they would get their children vaccinated ‘right away’. Another third said they would like to ‘wait and see’.
Some parents have expressed concern about hundreds of cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, that have been reported predominantly in young adults who took the vaccine, mostly after the second jab.
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