Following an advisory committee to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the CDC has also endorsed the use of coronavirus vaccines in children between the ages of six months and five years.
Both the vaccine from the manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer and the preparation from Moderna could be used for around 18 million small children, the experts decided on Saturday, according to US media reports.
Self-government, telematics, Morbi-RSA: The briefing on health
This means that nothing stands in the way of vaccination in the age group after it has been formally signed by CDC boss Rochelle Walensky. According to the US government, it could start on June 21st. US President Joe Biden called the decision a “huge step forward in our country’s fight against the virus.”
Biontech/Pfizer’s vaccine is currently approved in the United States for children ages five to 11, and Moderna’s vaccine for people ages 18 and older.
On Tuesday, however, the FDA advisory committee had already spoken out in favor of approving Moderna’s vaccine for children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 17.
The US authorities have generally pushed for vaccinations for children before the new school year. They hope this will help prevent a sharp rise in hospitalizations and deaths should there be a new wave of coronavirus.
Corona disease in children is usually rather mild. Still, as of March 2020, it is the fifth leading cause of death in children ages one to four years old and the fourth leading cause of death in children under one year old, according to the CDC.
The administration of US President Joe Biden plans to make the vaccines available to the under-five age group as early as next week. They should be delivered to places that parents know – such as pharmacies, children’s clinics and pediatrician’s surgeries.
However, it is unclear whether many parents will then also have their children vaccinated. The Biontech vaccine for children aged five to eleven years was approved in October. According to the US authorities, only about 29 percent of children in this age group have been fully vaccinated.
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 from the manufacturer Moderna (Spikevax) can also be approved for children under the age of six. Such a test has not yet started for the vaccine from the manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer. According to the EMA, the manufacturers have not yet submitted a corresponding application for an extension of the approval.