Health

CDC recommends Covid vaccines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers


Children as young as six months old, through age five, will be able to get the US’s first Covid-19 vaccines approved for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

The development came after final sign-off on Saturday from Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The government has been gearing up for the start of the shots early next week. This is the last age group without the shots, with about 18 million to be eligible.

Walensky said she had signed off on the endorsement of the vaccines earlier Saturday by CDC health advisers. She added: “Parents, I strongly encourage you to get your children vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” Walensky said in a statement.

On Friday, two brands of vaccine, Pfizer and Moderna, were approved by the FDA for children. They will be offered at different dose sizes and number of shots.

Pfizer’s vaccine is for six months through four years and is administered at one-tenth the adult jab with three shots needed – two given three weeks apart and a third at least two months later.

Moderna’s is two shots, each a quarter of the adult dose, will be given about four weeks apart for kids six months through five. The FDA also approved a third dose, at least a month after the second shot, for kids with immune conditions.

While millions of children are now eligible, it is not known what the take-up is likely to be. Less than one-third of children ages five to 11, approved for vaccination last November, have received the shots.

Studies show that vaccinated youngsters developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies as strong as young adults.

Two doses of Moderna appeared to be about 40% effective at preventing milder infections; Pfizer presented limited study information suggesting the company saw 80% effectiveness.

“Whatever vaccine your healthcare provider, pediatrician has, that’s what I would give my child,” said Dr Peter Marks, the FDA’s vaccine chief, on Friday.





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