On June 17, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for children under six months of age. .
The decision by the regulatory body comes after its committee of independent vaccine experts unanimously deliberated the recommendation for its use during a meeting on June 15.
The decision expands eligibility for immunization access to the nation’s 17 million infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children. Moderna’s vaccine, in two doses, is authorized for emergency use for children between six months and five years of age, while Pfizer’s, this time in three doses, is authorized for children between six months and four years of age.
After the announcement, through a press release, Robert Califf, director of the FDA, made the following statement:
Many parents, caregivers and doctors have been waiting for a vaccine for the little ones and this action will protect children from six months of age. As we have seen in older age groups, these vaccines will provide protection against the most severe cases of covid-19, such as hospitalizations and deaths.
In addition, the FDA has approved Moderna’s vaccine for children and adolescents between the ages of six and seventeen. Pfizer’s was already authorized for five years. However, prior to the implementation of the measure, this June 17 and 18, the vaccine advisors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will vote on the agency’s recommendation.
Pending the decision of the CDC, the first vaccines could be available from June 21. According to plans released by the administration of President Joe Biden, 10 million initial doses for young children are expected, with the rest expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Children will be able to get their shots at pediatricians’ offices, community health centers, public health clinics, children’s hospitals and pharmacies.