Following an advisory committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the CDC has also come out in favor of the use of coronavirus vaccines in children aged six months to five years. Both the vaccine produced by Biontech and Pfizer and the preparation from Moderna could be used for about 18 million young children, experts decided on Saturday, according to American media.
That means nothing stands in the way of vaccination in this age group after a formal sign-off by CDC chief Rochelle Walensky. According to the US government, it could begin on June 21. The vaccine is already approved for older children.
There is currently no corona vaccine approved for very young children in the EU. The European Medicines Agency EMA in Amsterdam is currently examining whether the vaccine manufactured by Moderna (Spikevax) can be approved for children under the age of six. Such a test has not yet begun for the vaccine manufactured by Biontech and Pfizer. According to the EMA, the manufacturers have not yet submitted an appropriate application for the extension of the approval.
It will be used from next week
“This infection is killing children and we have an opportunity to stop it,” Beth Bell, one of the doctors on the advisory panel, said after the vote. The administration of US President Joe Biden plans to make vaccines available to children under the age of five as early as next week. They should be delivered to places that parents know – such as pharmacies, children’s clinics and pediatric surgeries. However, it is unclear whether many parents will vaccinate their children then. The Biontech vaccine for children ages five to eleven was approved in October. According to US authorities, only about 29 percent of children in this age group are fully vaccinated.
The American authorities are in favor of vaccinating children before the new school year. They hope this will help prevent a spike in hospitalizations and deaths if there is a new wave of coronavirus. Corona disease in children is usually quite mild. However, as of March 2020, it is the fifth leading cause of death in children ages one to four and the fourth leading cause of death in children younger than one, according to the CDC.
Next week, CDC advisors want to discuss whether they support the use of the Moderna vaccine for children and adolescents ages six to 17. There are concerns about rare cases of heart disease in boys and young teenagers linked to the Moderna vaccine.