The FDA’s decision comes after its committee of independent vaccine experts voted unanimously to recommend pictures after evaluating their safety and effectiveness during a one-day meeting on Wednesday, which was open to the public.
The FDA approved Pfizer’s 3-dose vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years of age and Moderna’s 2-dose vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years of age. Children under the age of 5 were the only people left in the US not eligible for vaccination. Many parents wait months for the FDA to approve vaccines for their children.
The FDA on Friday also approved Moderna vaccines for children from kindergarten to high school students. Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was the only Covid vaccine available for this age group.
However, there is one more step left before vaccination of children under 5 years of age can begin. A committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on Saturday to vote on guidelines for pharmacies and doctors’ offices. CDC Director d. Rochelle Walensky must then sign these guidelines before children can begin immunizations.
The White House expects vaccinations to begin as early as Tuesday. There may be a limited number of appointments initially, but every parent who wishes to have their child vaccinated should be able to do so within a few weeks. Ashish Jha, overseeing the Biden administration COVID-19 response.
The federal government has provided state and local governments with 10 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna.
Dr. Arnold Monto, acting chairman of the FDA committee, said the agency took longer to authorize vaccines for preschoolers than for other ages because they are a vulnerable group that needs special attention to make sure the vaccines were safe and efficient.
Although Covid tends to be less severe in children than in adults, hospitalizations for children under 5 years of age have skyrocketed during the winter micro-wave, reaching the highest levels of the pandemic. Since January 2020, Covid has killed more than 200 children between the ages of six months and 5 years, according to the CDC.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children from infants to preschoolers differ in the number of shots used, dosage level, and age at which they can be received. The Pfizer vaccine was also found to be more effective than the Moderna vaccine for children under 5 years of age, although the data is preliminary.
The Pfizer vaccine is given in three doses to children aged 6 months to 4 years. The injections are dosed at 3 micrograms, which is one tenth of what adults receive. The three shots were about 75% effective in preventing omicron infection in children aged 6 months to 2 years and 82% effective in children aged 2 to 4 years.
However, it is critical that parents who choose Pfizer ensure that their children receive their third vaccine to protect against the virus. Two doses were only 14% effective in preventing infection in children under 2 years of age and 33% effective in children 2 to 4 years of age.
Moderna vaccine is given in two doses to children aged 6 months to 5 years. The injections are dosed at 25 micrograms, which is a quarter of the dose that adults receive.
The Moderna vaccine was approximately 51% effective in preventing omicron infection in children aged 6 months to 2 years and approximately 37% effective in children aged 2 to 5 years. However, the company expects the vaccine to provide strong protection against severe illness, as children had higher levels of antibodies than adults who received two doses.
According to the FDA, the most common side effects of vaccines were pain at the injection site, irritability and crying, loss of appetite, and drowsiness. Very few children who received the vaccine developed temperatures above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and there were no cases of myocarditis, a type of inflammation of the heart, in the Pfizer or Moderna studies.