Is the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine safe for children ages 5-11? It works? Does every child need it?
The Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine for an emergency in these age groups on Friday following an almost unanimous recommendation from their advisors last week. A similar committee will have its say on Tuesday to advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If the advisors recommend the vaccine as expected and the director of the agency, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, underscores, the decision would most likely ease the worries of millions of parents and strengthen the United States’ defense against the virus before winter.
This week, vaccinations for children between the ages of 5 and 11 could begin. In anticipation of the agency’s decision, the Biden government has hired more than 20,000 paediatricians, general practitioners and pharmacies to administer the vaccines.
About 15 million cans are already packed with dry ice, loaded into small special containers and shipped by plane and truck to vaccination centers across the country, federal officials announced on Monday.
The younger children receive a third of the dose approved for children aged 12 and over, which is administered with smaller needles and stored in smaller vials to avoid confusion with adult doses.
The CDC’s guidelines for the use of the vaccine are not legally binding but have a major impact on the practice of the medical community. Confirmation would be time as Americans start planning their winter vacation.
Though cases in the US have been falling steadily for weeks, experts warn that indoor family gatherings during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays can push rates back up, if not to the terrible highs of last year. Airlines are preparing for what may be the busiest travel season since the pandemic began.
Vaccinations would calm many parents anxious to protect their young children and frustrated by frequent school closings and quarantines. Coronavirus outbreaks forced 2,000 schools to close between early August and October.
Still, many parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children because they have concerns about the long-term safety of the vaccine or fear that the vaccine is more harmful than Covid-19.
What you should know about Covid-19 booster shots
The FDA has approved booster vaccinations for millions of recipients of Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna recipients eligible for a refresher are those 65 years of age and younger and younger adults who are at high risk of severe Covid-19 due to medical conditions or their job. Eligible Pfizer and Moderna recipients can receive a booster vaccination at least six months after their second dose. All Johnson & Johnson recipients are entitled to a second admission at least two months after the first.
Yes sir. The FDA has updated their approvals to allow medical providers to replenish people with a different vaccine than the one they originally received, a strategy known as “mix and match”. Whether you received Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer-BioNTech, you can get a booster shot with any other vaccine. Regulators have not recommended any vaccine over any other than a booster. They have also remained silent about whether it is preferable to stick with the same vaccine whenever possible.
The CDC has said that the conditions that qualify a person for a booster vaccination include: high blood pressure and heart disease; Diabetes or obesity; Cancer or blood diseases; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney, or liver disease; Dementia and certain disabilities. Pregnant women as well as current and former smokers are also eligible.
The FDA has approved boosters for workers whose work places them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious individuals. The CDC says this group includes: emergency medical personnel; Educational workers; Food and agricultural workers; Manufacturing workers; Correction worker; US Postal Service employees; Public transport employees; Grocery store employees.
Yes sir. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given regardless of the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacies allow people to schedule a flu shot at the same time as a booster dose.
According to the latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, about three in ten parents say they definitely won’t get the vaccine for their 5-11 year old children. A similar percentage of parents said they would vaccinate their children “immediately,” a number that has barely moved since similar polls in July and September.
Before the FDA advisors met last week, they were bombarded with thousands of emails containing misinformation about the vaccine urging experts to vote against it. A common objection to the vaccine is that children rarely get the virus, and the potential harm of the vaccine can outweigh its benefits.
While children are far less likely to get seriously ill with the virus than adults, their risk is not zero. Many children were infected with the coronavirus in the recent surge, and children ages 5-11 made up nearly 11 percent of all cases in the week of October 10, according to the CDC
Since the pandemic began, more than 8,300 children aged 5 to 11 have been hospitalized with Covid, and at least 94 have died. About a third of hospitalized children were sick enough to be admitted to the intensive care unit.