United States approves COVID-19 vaccines for children under 6 months of age.

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Healthy Living | COVID-19 Disease Prevention, Control, and Treatment | COVID-19 Vaccine for Babies and Children

Public Health care Education

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The United States has become the first country to approve the use of so-called mRNA vaccines for children under 6 months of age.

The United States has become the first country to approve the use of so-called mRNA vaccines for children under 6 months of age.

 US health officials on Saturday authorized Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for children 5 years of age and younger, in a move that President Joe Biden hailed as a “spectacular step forward” ” in the fight against the virus. As a result, the United States becomes the first country to approve the use of so-called mRNA vaccines for children under 6 months of age as reported by ndtv.com

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  on Friday approved it for emergency use in young children, who previously had to be five years old or older to receive the vaccine. However, these vaccines require additional authorization from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation’s top public health agency – and they received it on Saturday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement on Saturday: “We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can do so. Okay”.

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After receiving the decision from the FDA, the US government began distributing millions of doses of the vaccine across the country.  Biden promises that parents can start scheduling appointments as early as next week to get their little ones vaccinated at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices.  In a statement Saturday, he touted the vaccine as “safe (and) highly effective” and said  “for parents around the country, this is a day of relief and celebration. “

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COVID-19 Vaccination: Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

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 In the coming weeks, with more and more doses shipping, “every parent who wants a vaccine can get it,” he said.  The Moderna vaccine, given in two doses one month apart, will be available to children six months to five years old in a reduced dose of 25 micrograms (half the amount given to children six to 11 years old and a quarter of the dose for people 12 years of age and older).

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently licensed for children six months to four years old and will be given at a dose of 3 micrograms per injection, or 1/10 of the adult dose. The difference, however, is that children will get three shots – the first shot two to three weeks apart, followed by a third eight weeks later. So babies who receive it will not be fully protected for the first few months. However, its side effects were less severe in drug trials than those of the Moderna vaccine. 

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About a quarter of young children given Moderna develop a fever, especially after the second dose, but these fevers usually don’t last more than a day.  About 20 million American children are now eligible for the new vaccine. While children are generally thought to be less vulnerable to COVID-19, about 480 people in the United States in that age group have died from the virus.  So-called long COVID involves a lot, as is a multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare but serious post-viral condition. 

Pfizer said it hopes to apply to the European Medicines Agency by early July for permission to make its vaccine available to children in this youngest age range.

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