The US FDA just approved both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 years old!
Here is what you need to know!
FDA Approves Pfizer + Moderna Vaccine For Children Under 5!
On 17 June 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 years old!
Specifically, the FDA authorised the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years old; and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 17 years old.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was already authorised for use in children in 5 years and above, but Moderna’s vaccine was only authorised for use in adults 18 years and above.
With this FDA authorisation, both Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY and Moderna Spikevax vaccines are now approved for use in all individuals who are at least 6 months old.
Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to 6 months of age. As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “Those trusted with the care of children can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these COVID-19 vaccines and can be assured that the agency was thorough in its evaluation of the data.
Vaccinations in the United States are expected to begin as early as next week, after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes its own recommendations on the vaccines.
Pfizer + Moderna Vaccine For Children Under 5 : A Quick Primer
The Pfizer vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age consists of three 3 µg doses – which is 1/10th of the adult dose.
The first two doses are administered 21 days apart, followed by the third dose at least 8 weeks after the second dose.
According to Pfizer, their clinical trial involving 4,526 children showed that the adverse reactions were fewer, and mostly mild to moderate, and short lived. They also said that the lower-dose vaccine produced comparable protection to 16-25 year old people who received two adult 30 µg doses.
The Moderna vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years of age consists of two 25 µg doses – which is 1/4th of the adult dose.
The Moderna vaccine is also authorised for a third dose, administered at least one month after the second dose, for people who have certain kinds of immunocompromise.
According to Moderna, their clinical trial involving 6,700 children showed that the majority of adverse events were mild or moderate, with no deaths, myocarditis, pericarditis or MIS-C reported.
They also stated that the protection offered by this lower paediatric dose was comparable to the much higher adult dose of 100 µg.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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