It will possibly take a few more weeks before the U.S regulators make a decision whether to approve Corona Virus shots for kids in the age group of 5 to 11 years.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration is still considering if they can clear COVID 19 vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years, administering kid-sized doses.
Here’s What To Expect The U.S Considers Covid-19 Shots For Kids
Up until now in the U.S, only the population aged 12 years and older could get vaccine shots produced by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. This has been a cause of major frustration for a lot of parents as well as pediatricians, especially given the aggressive spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the virus in unvaccinated communities which include schools as well.
On 7th October 2021, Thursday, these companies officially submitted an application seeking permission to use lower doses of the vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds.
Some of the questions addressed by the concerned authorities related to vaccines for kids were as follows:
Q. Why is there a need for vaccines for younger kids?
A. Even though the virus tends to affect the older adults more severely, causing serious diseases, it can at times seriously affect the younger population as well. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics’s data, Coronavirus has so far killed a minimum of 520 children in America.
The new delta variant of the virus has caused a spike in infections amongst children, which is making it difficult to reopen schools. A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that almost a quarter of parents who had started sending kids to classrooms had to quarantine their child for being exposed to the virus.
Q. When is vaccination likely to begin for children under 12 years?
A. Vaccines for 5 to 11-year-olds will be considered first. On October 26th, 2021, advisers of the FDA will publicly deliberate Pfizer’s authentication, post which they will declare if the vaccine is safe and effective for 28 million children in that age group.
Once FDA gives go ahead, advisers of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will further evaluate and decide if the shots can be actually administered to the kids. So, the final decision lies with CDC.
Dr. Peter Marks, FDA’s vaccine chief has said the agency will likely make a decision within a few weeks after Pfizer submits its data.
Q. Would the same dose be administered to kids as the dose for teens and adults?
A. No, Pfizer will administer one-third of the dose that is given to people over 12 years old.
Q. Is there any evidence that kid-sized vaccine shots are effective?
A. Pfizer has conducted studies on 2,268 volunteers in the 5 to 11 years age group by administering the vaccine to two-thirds of the volunteers and giving the rest dummy shots. It has been concluded that the kids who were given vaccines developed COVID 19 fighting antibodies that were as potent as what has been observed in teenagers and adults after their regular strength vaccines.
Q. Is the vaccine deemed safe for youngsters?
A. The youngsters had more or less similar or lesser temporary side effects like achiness and sore arm than teens.
One of the extremely rare side effects of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is heart inflammation, usually in young boys or men. The CDC approximates that for every million 12 to 17-year-olds fully vaccinated boys, the vaccine can prevent almost 71 hospitalizations, 5,700 Coronavirus cases, and two deaths while causing heart inflammation in not over 69 cases.
Since it gets difficult for scientific researchers to detect such a rare side effect, it is up to the regulators to debate the chances of that risk in lower-dose vaccines for younger kids.
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