New Delhi: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday authorised Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccine shots for infants and preschoolers. The vaccination drive is slated to begin next week, news agency AFP reported. The US drug regulators’ decision comes after a unanimous recommendation from its advisory panel. Children between six months and five years, that accounts for roughly 18 million youngsters, will be able to take the jab.
The FDA also authorised Moderna’s vaccine for school-aged children and teens. Earlier, only Pfizer’s shots were available for that age group.
As per the report, the vaccine advisors of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are set to discuss on how the shots will be administered to the children on Friday and vote on Saturday. A final signoff will come from CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky.
“So, I actually think we need to protect young children, as well as protect everyone with the vaccine and especially protect elders,” AFP quoted Walensky as saying.
Notably, the US administration has been preparing to roll out the vaccines for weeks.
While young children generally don’t get infected by Covid as compared to adults, their hospitalisations surged during the Omicron wave and according to FDA, the benefits from vaccination outweighed the minimal risks.
Notably, studies from Moderna and Pfizer showed minor side effects, including fever and fatigue.
As per reports, Pfizer’s vaccine for children is one-tenth of the adult dose. Three shots will be administered – the first two given three weeks apart and the last at least two months later.
Moderna vaccine will have two shots, each a quarter of its adult dose, given about four weeks apart.
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