In a major development, children aged 5 and younger, as young as six months can now be vaccinated against Covid-19 using mRNA vaccines in the US.
The US health authorities like the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has granted permission to vaccine manufacturing companies Pfizer and Moderna for allowing children aged 6 months to 5 years to use their vaccines in the fight against the coronavirus.
US President Joe Biden has greeted this as a ‘monumental step’.
US Health Authorities Allow m-RNA Vaccines for Chiildren
The drug and health regulator of the US, the US Food and Drug Administration or USFDA had authorized an emergency use of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5 years and below.
Earlier the so-called mRNA vaccines could only be given to children above the ages of 5.
However, the emergency clearance from the US FDA was not enough for the two vaccine manufacturing companies to come into use. A further clearance was required from the US CDC, which is the country’s leading public health agency.
This clearance from CDC came on Saturday.
This means now, the US administration can begin distributing millions of doses of the vaccine across the country for children under 5 years of age.
“We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can,” said the director of CDC Rochelle Walensky.
Parents can start getting their kids vaccinated as early as next week at clinics, pharmacies, hospitals and even at their child(ren)’s doctor’s office.
The vaccines will be ‘safe (and) highly effective’, read the statement released on Saturday.
How Different Will the Children’s Vax Dosage Be?
The vaccine provided by Moderna will be administered in two doses with a gap of 1 month between the two doses, and children from 6 months-5 years will be given reduced doses of 25 micrograms, which is half the amount given children aged 6-11, and a quarter of the dose given to those aged 12 and above.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, on the other hand, will be given in doses of three micrograms/injection, which will be 1/10th the dose given to an adult.